Nevada state Sen. Mark Hutchinson (R) has won the GOP nomination for lieutenant governor, giving Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval (R) a win in a race that has 2016 implications.

The race matters because who Sandoval's number-two is could influence whether he challenges Sen. Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidTo end sugar subsidies, conservatives can't launch a frontal attack House presses Senate GOP on filibuster reform A pro-science approach to Yucca Mountain appropriations MORE (D-Nev.) in 2016, as Republicans hope he will. If Sandoval has a Republican to hand the state off to he might be more inclined to run.

Sandoval is all but guaranteed another term — Democrats failed to field a serious candidate against him, and the uniquely Nevada "none of the above" option led the Democratic primary for governor.

The real battle is to be Sandoval's second-in-command.

Hutchinson defeated 2010 Senate candidate Sue Lowden (R), who had been embraced this year by Tea Party activists including those that have taken over the Nevada Republican Party, and giving Republicans a boost in the race.