CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) _ Republican Sen. Chic Hecht brushed aside a primary challenger and promised ''the most exciting race Nevada has ever had'' as he began his underdog campaign against popular Democratic Gov. Dick Bryan.

Bryan, who turned back three challengers of his own in a primary Tuesday, said ''we feel that we've generated some momentum, but as we've said from the very beginning this is going to be a very tough race.''

A poll taken in August for the gaming industry showed Bryan with a 14-point lead over Hecht, who is seeking a second term. Hecht said Tuesday that his own polls show him trailing Bryan by 5 percent to 6 percent and said that was ''right where we want to be.''

With all precincts reporting from Tuesday's voting, Bryan, 51, had 61,987 votes or 80 percent. Patrick Fitzpatrick had 4,691 votes or 6 percent, Manford ''Cave Rock Manny'' Beals had 2,651 votes or 3 percent, and Larry Kepler had 1,650 votes or 2 percent. ''None,'' an option listed on the ballot, drew 6,991 votes or 9 percent.

On the GOP side, Hecht, 59, had 55,352 votes or 82 percent, Larry Scheffler, owner of a graphics business, had 5,617 votes or 8 percent, and 6,454 voters or 10 percent favored ''None.

Hecht has attacked Bryan as too pro-labor and says the ''out-of-state labor bosses want to control the Senate.''

Bryan has characterized Hecht as ineffectual and said his rival was wrong in claiming that 42 percent of Bryan's campaign contributions came from labor groups. He said he had in fact received about $189,000 from labor out of $1.8 million, and ''I don't care if you're using the old math or new math ... that works out to 10.4 percent.''

In a GOP congressional primary, Vietnam war hero James ''Bo'' Gritz, who has made forays into Southeast Asia seeking MIAs, lost to party activist Lucille Lusk. Lusk received 12,075 votes or 48 percent to 10,715 votes or 42 percent for Gritz and 2,562 votes or 10 percent for retiree John Kraft.

The Democratic incumbent, Jim Bilbray, had no opposition.