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Douglas Herndon projected to win Nevada Supreme Court seat

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Judge Douglas W. Herndon presides over the murder trial of Bryan Clay on Monday, November 20, 2017, at the Regional Justice Center in Las Vegas. Herndon is projected to win a seat on the Nevada Supreme Court. (Jorge Montes/KSNV)

Clark County District Court Judge Douglas Herndon won an open seat on the Nevada Supreme Court after an expensive race that drew more than $1 million in campaign contributions.

Herndon defeated Assemblyman Ozzie Fumo, a trial attorney and adjunct professor at the William S. Boyd School of Law at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas serving his second term in the Legislature.

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Herndon, a Republican, is the presiding criminal judge in homicide cases in Las Vegas. He is a former special victims unit prosecutor who was appointed to the bench by Republican Gov. Kenny Guinn in 2005 and elected three times.

Both candidates had multiple endorsements from organizations, attorneys, politicians and individuals. Fumo received the backing of former U.S. Senate Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid.

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The race drew more campaign contributions than any of Nevada’s state legislative races. Fumo had raised almost $337,000 as of Oct. 15, with personal injury attorneys and labor unions funneling him his largest contributions.

Herndon had raised more than twice that amount — $777,000 — and benefited from independent expenditure support from Judge the Judges PAC, a committee that has run anti-Fumo ads and received $250,000 contributions from both Sheldon and Miriam Adelson in September.

Herndon called himself the only judge in the race. Fumo criticized Herndon’s work in 1995 as a deputy district attorney convicting a man who was pardoned in 2017 after serving 21 years in prison for a murder he did not commit.