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Sheriff Joe Lombardo makes an impressive candidate for governor. With his square jaw, silvery hair, and steady stream of pictures in uniform with his side arm, the guy just looks like he’s in charge – a powerful image for someone looking to run the whole state.
But any politics junkie will tell you that just as important as the “candidate in action” shots are the “candidate with family” shots. These signal to voters that the candidate values family and also makes it easier for a voter to say “Hey, this guy has a wife and daughters who like him, maybe I’d like him, too.”
So right there on the About page of joelombardofornv.com is a great shot of the Clark County sheriff walking in jeans alongside… Well, just who exactly?
We cannot say with perfect authority that every candidate website in history has ended its About page with some form of “Homer lives in Springfield with his wife Marge and their children Bart, Lisa and Maggie.” But take our word for it, it’s most of them.
Lombardo’s site does not mention his wife’s name or the names of the kids or even if the people pictured walking alongside him are indeed his wife and daughters.
A quick turn to that reliable source of all knowledge, Wikipedia, doesn’t clarify the mystery. Under “personal life,” Wiki says Lombardo is “currently married and has one child from a previous marriage.” But the article it cites for that morsel—oddly enough from the Atlanta Journal Constitution on Oct 2, 2017, which randomly ran a story called “Who is Clark County Nevada sheriff Joseph Lombardo”—says only that he’s “divorced with a 16-year-old daughter, a fianceé and a 10-year-old dog named Jasper.”
Lombardo’s official bio on the website of Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department is also silent on the matter. Same with Ballotpedia. If you look at the 2018 Clark County sheriff race, in which Lombardo crushed four challengers, there is almost no information about the sheriff. By contrast, Lombardo’s closest opponent, Tim Bedwell, answered an extensive survey that included, “What is your favorite thing in your home or apartment? Why?” with “My wife.” (No word on whether Mrs. Bedwell appreciates being considered a “thing.”)
As a current law enforcement official, Lombardo may have more incentive than many candidates to be coy about these names and relationships. After a year or so of sometimes-violent “Defund the Police” protests, candidates in blue might not want to broadcast the names of their loved ones.
But not even saying “Lombardo is married with a daughter and a step-daughter” takes privacy to a level not expected by many candidates who hold themselves out there for statewide judgement.
The contrast on the page for Dean Heller, Lombardo’s chief rival for the GOP nomination, couldn’t be more stark. Under the heading “Family Man,” the site reveals “Dean and his wife Lynne have been married for more than 30 years and currently reside in Smith Valley, Nevada. They have four children, Hilary, Harris, Drew, and Emmy – and they are the proud grandparents of Brielle, Zachary, and Ava.” The exact kind of information voters feel entitled to know.
The Lombardo campaign is apparently not interested in clarifying the mystery. The Nevada Globe emailed the campaign for clarification Wednesday morning and has yet to hear back.
This story will updated if the Lombardo campaign gets back to us with clues to this important family enigma.
UPDATE: On Oct. 6, the Nevada Globe wrote to the Lombardo campaign, “Who are the women in this photo with Sheriff Lombardo? We presumed it was wife on the right and two daughters on the left. Is that correct? And we couldn’t find their names anywhere on www.joelombardofornv.com, or anywhere else for that matter. Can you pls clarify?” On the evening of Oct. 11, the Lombardo campaign replied, “You are correct. The photo does include Joe’s family. Thank you for your interest.”
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