Fiore goes down with other election deniers, Conine clinches second-term

By: - November 11, 2022 6:01 pm

Zach Conine, Michele Fiore

An endorsement from former President Donald Trump was not enough to lead Republican firebrand Michele Fiore to victory in a  midterm that saw election deniers go down in flames nationwide.

Leading Fiore by more than 10,000 votes on Friday, Democratic Nevada State Treasurer incumbent Zach Conine issued a statement declaring victory.

“I am humbled that Nevadans have asked me to continue serving as their State Treasurer, I intend on making them proud over these next four years,” he said. “Our campaign was built upon a foundation of integrity and working incredibly hard to build the State that Nevadans deserve to live in.”

Early this year, Fiore said Trump was the “rightful president of the United States,” adding that she believed “there was voter fraud, and he won Nevada” during a primary debate.  In a campaign ad, Fiore listed “stop voter fraud” as one point in her three-point plan.

Zealous support for Trump’s baseless allegations of election fraud propelled Fiore through the Republican primary, but seems to have turned voters off in the November general election. Fiore joined the ranks of defeated election deniers in Nevada, including Jim Marchant and Sigal Chattah.

Conine’s second term as the state’s chief financial officer was cemented by a batch of ballots in Democratic stronghold Clark County. Remaining uncounted ballots are likely to expand his lead.

Fiore secured strong support in rural Nevada, but those gains were washed away by voters in Clark and Washoe counties who voted blue by significant margins. 

Conine received wide bipartisan support for his performance as state treasurer over the past four years, and was even endorsed by some Republicans, including former U.S. Sen. Dean Heller.

During his tenure, Conine faced criticism from Republican voters and Fiore after he divested from companies that manufacture or sell assault-style weapons.

Under Conine, Nevada has received and maintained its highest credit rating in history. Conine boasts his office has returned more unclaimed property to more Nevadans than in any two-year period in Nevada history. He also more than doubled investment returns for the Permanent School Fund since becoming Chair.

Fiore chose to challenge Conine after months of marketing herself as a gubernatorial candidate and spending thousands of dollars in campaign funds to air a 60-second television ad in the Palm Beach, Florida market – home of Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago property. 

She never filed to run for governor. 

On Twitter Fiore announced she would be running for Nevada state treasurer instead, explaining the switch was at the behest of Trump’s team. He ultimately endorsed her for the position of Nevada’s chief financial officer, which manages a portfolio of about $50 billion in state money and investments that affect everything from unemployment benefits to the state’s education fund.

In addition to Trump, Fiore was endorsed by controversial Republican politicians and personalities including Sheriff Joe Arpaio, far right talk radio host Wayne Allyn Root, and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. She was also endorsed by the Nevada Republican Party and the Nevada Veterans Association, and several Republican county commissioners.

Fiore’s campaign was marked by a number of missteps, including mistakenly accusing the incumbent Conine of profiting from a “shady” corporation run out of the State Treasurer’s office which he is statutorily required to run as the state treasurer. 

Fiore’s history in Nevada politics also includes a number of financial controversies, including a history of failing to report tax debt to the IRS, which is a requirement for candidates and elected officials. In 2021, the FBI raided Fiore’s home as part of its investigation into possible campaign finance violations. As of July, Fiore and previous businesses had $361,300.57 in active federal and state tax liens against them. 

She is also facing allegations of violating campaign finance law by allegedly accepting donations exceeding the state’s $10,000 maximum contribution limit from a single source, a claim Conine’s campaign filed with the Nevada secretary of state.

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Jeniffer Solis
Jeniffer Solis

Reporter | Jeniffer was born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada where she attended the University of Nevada, Las Vegas before graduating in 2017 with a B.A in Journalism and Media Studies. While at UNLV she was a senior staff writer for the student newspaper, the UNLV Scarlet and Gray Free Press, and a news reporter for KUNV 91.5 FM, covering everything from the Route 91 shooting to UNLV housing. She has also contributed to the UNLV News Center and worked as a production engineer for several KUNV broadcasts before joining the Nevada Current. She’s an Aries.