Jimmy Carter's son wins Nevada primary


Diamond Member
Jul 11, 2004

By SCOTT SONNER, Associated Press Writer
37 minutes ago

RENO, Nev. - Jimmy Carter's son, Jack Carter, won the Democratic nomination Tuesday to face Republican U.S. Sen. John Ensign (news, bio, voting record) in November in Nevada, where voters also picked candidates in a sometimes-zany pair of primaries to replace popular Republican Gov. Kenny Guinn.

Carter claimed 78 percent of the vote in early returns to defeat political unknown Ruby Jee Tun of Carson City, a middle school science teacher. Ensign won with 90 percent of the vote over Ed "Fast Eddie" Hamilton of Las Vegas, a former Chrysler Corp. supervisor.

Tessa Hafen, former press secretary for Nevada's other senator, Democratic leader Harry Reid, won her party's nomination to face incumbent Republican Rep. Jon Porter (news, bio, voting record) in the 3rd Congressional District.

Incumbent Democratic Rep. Shelley Berkley (news, bio, voting record) beat political unknown Asimo Lawlor for her party's nomination in the 1st Congressional District, which encompasses the core of Las Vegas. She faces the winner of the GOP primary, Kenneth Wegner, a 2004 candidate for U.S. Senate.

In the sprawling 2nd Congressional District, Secretary of State Dean Heller was in a tight race with state Assemblywoman Sharron Angle. With 65 percent of precincts reporting, Heller had 37 percent. Angle had 35 percent. Former Assemblywoman Dawn Gibbons, wife of incumbent GOP Rep. Jim Gibbons, had 25 percent.

The winner in the 2nd District primary will face longtime university system regent Jill Derby, who won the Democratic nomination unopposed.

Guinn, who is leaving office after eight years because of term limits, did not groom a hand-picked successor, locking candidates from both parties in brutal primary contests that included offbeat personal attacks using sock puppets, "Star Wars" parodies and Internet close-ups of an elephant's behind.

Democratic state Senate Minority Leader Dina Titus and Republican Congressman Jim Gibbons each won their party's nominations to replace Guinn.

Gibbons, a former military pilot, gave one of his GOP rivals some ammunition when he told a newspaper that he used his state Assembly office to get rehired by Delta Air Lines. (Gibbons says he misspoke.)

Las Vegas state Sen. Bob Beers responded with an Internet ad starring a sock puppet in a little suit and tie. "Hi there, I'm Congressman Gibbons," the sock puppet says. "I shook down Delta Air Lines."

Gibbons managed to hold off Lt. Gov. Lorraine Hunt and Beers. Long shots in that race included a former porn star, Melody Damayo, who performed under the name Mimi Miyagi.

Titus had accused rival Henderson Mayor Jim Gibson of latent Republicanism and created a Web site that included a close-up of an elephant's behind. Gibson responded by sending out a Web cartoon of his opponent wielding a "Star Wars"-style light saber and succumbing to the pull of the Dark Side.

Republicans avoided a potentially embarrassing situation when they nominated another candidate to be state treasurer instead of former state Controller Kathy Augustine, who died last month yet remained at the ballot.

Mark DeStefano, a Las Vegas businessman, won the nomination. If Augustine had won the GOP nomination, it would have been the first time that a dead person has won a primary for a statewide office in Nevada history.

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