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Gov. Brian Sandoval wins Nevada Republican primary

LAS VEGAS (AP) -- Gov. Brian Sandoval has easily defeated four challengers in Nevada's Republican gubernatorial primary.

The popular governor advances to the general election in November, where he'll face the winner of an eight-way Democratic primary.

Sandoval's victory Tuesday was essentially assured. He faced no big-name challengers and collected campaign donations of more than $3.3 million.

He also is expected to cruise to re-election in the fall after Democrats failed to recruit a viable candidate.

Sandoval left a lifetime appointment to the federal bench in 2010 to take on incumbent Republican Gov. Jim Gibbons. He then defeated Rory Reid, the son of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, in the general election to become Nevada's first Hispanic governor.

A rising star in the GOP, Sandoval is often mentioned as a possible challenger to Reid in 2016.