- Associated Press - Friday, June 13, 2014

LAS VEGAS (AP) - Losing congressional candidate Niger Innis announced this week that he wants an audit on Nevada Republican primary results, saying it was fishy that a virtually unknown candidate made such a strong showing in Tuesday’s contest.

Innis issued a statement Thursday saying he would call on Secretary of State Ross Miller to audit the 4th District results, in which Assemblyman Cresent Hardy garnered 43 percent of the vote, Innis took 33 percent, Mike Monroe earned 22 percent and perennial candidate Carlo Poliak took 2 percent. About 24,000 votes were cast.

“With all due respect to Mr. Monroe, the 22 per cent of the vote he received is simply inconceivable based upon his lack of campaign activities, which quite frankly, were none,” Innis said, suggesting that a computer error or glitch may have been at play. “Until we investigate … we won’t know the reason for Mr. Monroe getting 22 per cent of the vote. And believe me, there is a reason out there somewhere. We just have to work together to find it.”

Miller’s office had not received a formal request for an investigation as of Friday morning, said his spokeswoman, Catherine Lu.

Monroe, a native Nevadan who said he lives in Las Vegas and works as a handyman and carpenter mainly in the black community, dismissed Innis’ claims and panned his platform as insubstantial.

“I had a platform. It resonated with the people,” Monroe said Friday. “He’s a sore loser.”

Hardy and Innis were widely considered the front-runners in the four-person primary, which chose a challenger for first-term Democratic Rep. Steven Horsford. They faced off in four debates and raised nearly $200,000 apiece in hopes of representing the sprawling 4th Congressional District, which stretches from North Las Vegas to Yerington and Ely.

Innis said he doesn’t expect an audit to take the win from Hardy.

“Niger has graciously accepted the results of the primary election,” said Steve Forsythe, his campaign manager. “However, we as a team, will do everything in our power to try to come to some conclusion as to how Mr. Monroe received 5,392 votes.”

A self-described “devout Republican,” Monroe has made unsuccessful bids for Congress in 2006 and 2010 and said the vote totals have encouraged him to continue his political quest in the next cycle. One of his goals is to bring more African Americans into the Republican fold.

“I will be back in 2016, and I will bring some fresh blood,” he said.