06/11/2014 11:49 am ET

'None Of These Candidates' Won The Democratic Primary To Challenge Brian Sandoval

Chip Somodevilla via Getty Images

Nevada voters apparently weren't enthusiastic about their choices in the Democratic primary to challenge popular Gov. Brian Sandoval (R), picking "none of these candidates" over all of the eight Democrats running.

According to The Associated Press, Robert Goodman, a former state economic development commissioner, got 25 percent of the vote -- 3,700 votes behind "none of these candidates," which took 30 percent of the vote with 92 percent of the state's precincts reporting.

Nevada state law allows voters to choose "none of these candidates" in presidential and statewide elections, though the last time the option garnered the most votes was in 1976, in a House Republican primary. State law dictates that a candidate on the ballot in November must be an actual person, so Goodman is the official Democratic nominee.

Sandoval easily won his gubernatorial primary, taking nearly 90 percent of the vote. He is expected to coast to victory in November's general election.

As Politico reported early Wednesday morning, the "none of these candidates" option played a pivotal role in the 2012 Senate race between Sen. Dean Heller (R) and then-Rep. Shelley Berkley (D). Heller beat Berkley by fewer than 12,000 votes, while more than 45,000 voters felt ambivalent enough about their options to vote for "none of these candidates."

The option recently survived a court challenge from Republicans, who attempted to get it struck from the ballot before the 2012 elections.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) appears to be concerned about the prospect of a potential challenge from Sandoval in 2016, though Sandoval has said, "It's not like the U.S. Senate has been my life's goal."



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