Jon Ralston

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Jon Ralston
Born (1959-07-13) July 13, 1959 (age 64)
EducationCornell University (BA)
University of Michigan (MA)
Years active1984–present
Employer(s)Las Vegas Review-Journal (1984–1999)
Las Vegas Sun (1999–2012)
Politico (2015–2016)
Reno Gazette-Journal (2015–2016)
TelevisionKLAS-TV and Las Vegas One (1999–2010)
KENV-DT, KRNV-DT and KSNV (2010–2014)
KLVX and KNPB (2015–2016)
KTNV-TV (2016)
Political partyIndependent (1994–present)
WebsiteOfficial website

Jonathan Mark Ralston (born July 13, 1959)[2] is an American journalist, political commentator, and former talk show host.[3] His show, Ralston Live, was seen each weekday on the two Nevada PBS stations in Las Vegas and Reno until his show was discontinued on June 21, 2016.[3]

In 2017, Ralston launched The Nevada Independent (TNI), a nonprofit online news site devoted to Nevada business and government.

Early life and education[edit]

Ralston was born in Morristown, New Jersey and grew up in Buffalo, New York,[2] where he attended Williamsville South High School. He received a Bachelor of Arts in English from Cornell University in 1981 and an Master of Arts in journalism from the University of Michigan in 1983.[4][5][6]


After completing his master's degree, Ralston moved to Las Vegas, Nevada, to become a night-time police reporter for the Las Vegas Review-Journal in 1984.[6] In 1986, he was assigned to cover politics, and in 1989, he became a full-time political columnist for that paper.[5][6] In 1999, he sold his newsletter side project to Greenspun Media Group and began writing for the Las Vegas Sun, one of its newspapers.[5] His book, The Anointed One: An Inside Look At Nevada Politics, was published in September 2000. It recounted how Kenny Guinn won his first election, the Nevada governor's race in 1998, with backing from the casino industry and political insiders.[7][8]

In September 2012, Ralston left the Las Vegas Sun.[5] In 2014, Ralston appeared as an actor in the Amazon original series Alpha House.[9] His KSNV Ralston Reports TV show ended on December 12, 2014.[10] On January 7, 2015, he began writing for the Reno Gazette-Journal.[11] As of 2016, did a television show, Ralston Live, a different email newsletter called Flash, and a twice-weekly column for the Reno Gazette-Journal. His show was discontinued on June 21, 2016 by KLVX and KNPB.[2][5][11][12]

Nevada election predictions and analysis[edit]

Ralston does analysis of Nevada elections, especially based upon early voting results and accurately predicted both the presidential election in Nevada and the Nevada Senate race in 2016 on the basis of early voting data.[13][14] In 2020, he accurately predicted the presidential election in Nevada and the two Las Vegas-area House races in which he offered predictions.[15] In 2022, he accurately predicted the Nevada Senate race, two of the three Las Vegas-area House races, the gubernatorial race, the lieutenant gubernatorial election, the Secretary of State race, the Attorney General election, the Treasurer race, and the Controller race.[16]

2016 Nevada Democratic state convention[edit]

Reporting on the Nevada Democratic state convention in 2016, Ralston tweeted that supporters of U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders had thrown chairs.[17] The Associated Press filed a similar report. NPR originally repeated Ralston's reporting as did other media outlets, but removed it after only being able to find evidence of a chair being lifted in the air but not of one being thrown.[18] Snopes, a website that documents and debunks urban legends and rumors, identified Ralston as the source for the statement that Sanders supporters had thrown chairs and said there was no evidence to support it.[19]

The Nevada Independent[edit]

Ralston launched a digital news publication in early 2017 titled The Nevada Independent, and Ralston announced he would disclose the sources of its donations..[14][20][21]

Personal life[edit]

Ralston married Sarah Hoeveler, a former TV reporter and anchor, and they had one child.[22] They divorced and Ralston in 2012 married Jessica Sferrazza, a Reno city councilor.[23] The couple divorced in 2017.[24]


  1. ^ Ralston, Jon (May 23, 2016). "The child I love". Ralston Reports. Retrieved January 22, 2017.
  2. ^ a b c "Jon Ralston - Biography". IMDb. Internet Movie Database. Retrieved March 11, 2016.
  3. ^ a b "Ralston Live". Vegas PBS. Retrieved March 11, 2016.
  4. ^ Ralston, Jon. "Jon Ralston". Vegas Pundit (ret.). Jon Ralston. Retrieved March 11, 2016.
  5. ^ a b c d e Ralston, Jon (September 5, 2012). "About". Ralston Reports. Jon Ralston. Retrieved March 11, 2016.
  6. ^ a b c "Jon Ralston". Ballotpedia. Retrieved March 11, 2016.
  7. ^ Ralston, Jon. "Anointed One". Huntington Press. Huntington Press Publishing. Retrieved March 11, 2016.
  8. ^ Ralston, Jon (2000). The Anointed One Paperback – September 19, 2000. Huntington Press. ISBN 0929712013.
  9. ^ Witt, Alex (January 11, 2014). "Surprising cameos in 'Alpha House' season finale". MSNBC. Retrieved May 25, 2016.
  10. ^ Roerink, Kyle (December 2, 2014). "TV station pulls the plug on Nevada political reporter Jon Ralston's 'Ralston Reports". Nevada State Personnel Watch. Ty Robben. Retrieved March 11, 2016.
  11. ^ a b Scott, Kelly (December 17, 2014). "Jon Ralston joins RGJ political coverage team". Nevada State Personnel Watch. Ty Robben. Retrieved March 11, 2016.
  12. ^ Botkin, Ben (June 21, 2016). "Jon Ralston political shows dumped at Las Vegas, Reno PBS stations". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved January 20, 2017.
  13. ^ "Ralston: How deep does the blue wave go?". Reno Gazette Journal. Retrieved November 17, 2016.
  14. ^ a b "Jon Ralston to launch Nevada news site". POLITICO. Retrieved November 17, 2016.
  15. ^ Ralston, Jon (November 1, 2020). "Biden will win Nevada, blue wave should help down ballot". Nevada Independent. Retrieved November 12, 2022.
  16. ^ Ralston, Jon (November 6, 2022). "Crystal ball says Cortez Masto hangs on, Sisolak doesn't and Dems retain two of three House seats". Nevada Independent. Retrieved November 12, 2020.
  17. ^ @@RalstonReports (May 15, 2016). "Convention ended w/security shutting it down, Bernie folks rushed stage, yelling obscenities, throwing chairs. Unity Now! On to Philly 2/2" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  18. ^ Jensen, Elizabeth (May 18, 2016). "Fact-Checking NPR's Reports On Vegas 'Violence'". NPR. Retrieved May 20, 2016.
  19. ^ Kim LaCapria, "The Chair Thrown 'Round the World", Snopes, May 19, 2016. Retrieved May 20, 2016.
  20. ^ Bilton, Ricardo (November 15, 2016). "Jon Ralston is launching The Nevada Independent, with polls and Spanish-language features to offer a unique angle on a changing state". NiemanLab. Retrieved January 22, 2017.
  21. ^ Pratt, Timothy; Ember, Sydney (January 16, 2017). "Voice of Politics in Nevada Media Starts a News Website". New York Times. Retrieved January 22, 2017.
  22. ^ "Former Las Vegas journalist Sarah Ralston dies at 50". November 26, 2011.
  23. ^ Group, Sinclair Broadcast (August 19, 2012). "Face to Face Host Jon Ralston marries Reno City Councilor". KRNV.
  24. ^ Sterling, T. C. (April 10, 2023). "OPINION: TrackerGate May Reveal More Than Identity Of PI Client". Nevada Globe.

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