The country’s only male Hispanic governor easily won reelection Tuesday.
Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval, a Republican, coasted to his second term, beating Democrat Bob Goodman, who, heading into Election Day, had trailed the governor by large margins.
“Our state is on the right path and destined for a bright future,” Sandoval posted on Twitter. “Looking forward to Continuing Nevada’s Comeback. … We will continue to build upon the progress of our great state together with a new Republican Majority in the NV State Senate.”
Sandoval road the coattails of a near Republican sweep in the House and Senate, and thanked about 400 people who came out to celebrate at a GOP party in Las Vegas.
“Thank you for your confidence and thank you for your trust,” Sandoval said, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “This is a night to remember. This is a night to savor. We did this because we did this together. … But we also have to recognize tomorrow’s a new day. There’s a lot of work to do.”
In addition, state Sen. Mark Hutchison, a Republican whom Sandoval backed for the lieutenant governor post, beat Democratic state Rep. Lucy Flores, a victory that paves the way for Sandoval to challenge U.S. Sen. Harry Reid, a Democrat, in 2016.
Sandoval, 51, has basked in the glow of an improving economy and a deal that will bring Tesla Motors’ battery megafactory to the Reno area, a move with the potential to bring $100 billion into the state. Sandoval’s economic advisors claimed the Tesla deal could create tens of thousands of jobs in Nevada.
The deal not only raised Sandoval’s stock within the state, it also gave him a national sheen and buzz about loftier elected positions in the future.
Recent polls showed the governor decisively capturing the Latino vote, 54-39. When he ran in 2010, only a third of Latino voters supported him.
Sandoval was born in Redding, Calif. He has broken many barriers in the Silver State, serving on the Nevada Assembly and the Gaming Commission and becoming the first Latino to hold statewide office. He has also served as the state’s attorney general and a U.S. District Court judge.
Brock McCleary, who is the former polling director for the National Republican Congressional Committee, told Fox News Latino recently that Sandoval has managed to appeal to a cross-section of constituents, including Democrats, independents and Latinos.
“Forty percent of Democrats have a favorable opinion of him,” said McCleary, whose firm, Harper Polling, has surveyed Nevada voters on their midterm election views. “You don’t get that support as a Republican if you govern strictly along party lines.”