20 candidates jam field for Reno mayor
March 17, 2014
RENO — One of the 20 candidates running for Reno mayor is actually named Reno — city planning commissioner Charles "Chuck" Reno.
Another, Larry Pizorno, is known as "Wolf Man" because of the pelt he wears on his head to Nevada Wolf Pack football games.
Others seeking to replace popular three-term Mayor Bob Cashell include Washoe County Commissioner Marsha Berkbigler and first-term Councilwoman Hillary Schieve.
It's the biggest field of mayoral candidates since at least the early 1970s, City Clerk Lynette Jones told the Reno Gazette-Journal. Nine candidates competed in the mayoral primary in 1995, Jones said.
The two victors in the June 10 primary will head to the general election in November.
The large field emerged after the Nevada Supreme Court decision barred term-limited council members from running for mayor. The decision knocked Jessica Sferrazza and Dwight Dortch out of the race. Both had spent considerable time fundraising and building a campaign.
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The decision was the result of a lawsuit filed by candidate Eddie Lorton, who successfully argued that a voter-approved term limit of 12 years applied to both council members and the mayor.
Primary election turnout is typically low. In 2012, for instance, 19 percent of registered voters in Reno turned out for the municipal primary election.
Schieve, winner of the at-large council member race that year, won with 4,978 votes. But with 20 candidates, 110,000 registered voters, and a 20 percent turnout, the victor in this race could win with just 1,000 votes.
"I can't recall in recent (Nevada) political history a race that has drawn this many names," political consultant Greg Ferraro said. "Obviously a lot of people are very concerned about the future direction of the city."
The other candidates are:
DeLores Aiazzi, microbiologist and wife of former Councilman Dave Aiazzi
Robert Avery, tech entrepreneur
Michael James Bertrand, cattle rancher/property manager
Sean Burke, retail manager
Chad Dehne, medical technician
Tom Fitzgerald, retired businessman
Brian Lee Fleming
Erik Holland, artist
Mark Markel, anti-drunk-driving crusader
Ian Pasalich, inventor of the Masha and other kitchen appliances
Raymond "Pez" Pezonella, engineer
Idora Silver, business management consultant
Ken Stark, commercial real estate broker