Two incumbent Supreme Court justices were the first to file for office as the 2014 election season opened Monday.
Kris Pickering filed for a second six-year term as fellow justice Mark Gibbons filed for his third term in office.
In addition, both of Carson City’s district judges, James Todd Russell and Jim Wilson, filed for re-election.
Gibbons, who assumed the position of chief justice on Monday, used the opportunity to urge support for the ballot question that would create an intermediate appellate court between the district courts and Nevada Supreme Court.
The justices have long argued that their workload is among the heaviest in the nation because every appeal from district court must be reviewed by the seven members of Nevada’s high court. Gibbons said an intermediate appellate court would reduce that load, enabling justices to focus more on the important, precedent-setting cases.
Pickering, who was chief justice last year, agreed, saying one price Nevada pays for not having the intermediate court is not having as many published opinions that lawyers and lower courts can use to establish precedent.
She pointed out that while the court is keeping up, there were more than 2,300 cases filed in 2013 and the high court’s backlog remains above 1,800 cases.
No one has announced plans to challenge Gibbons or Pickering.
Asked why there are so few challengers to sitting judges, Pickering said that if judges are perceived as doing a good job, in most cases there won’t be a challenge. She said that’s why she waited until Justice Bill Maupin retired before seeking the office five years ago.
Pickering is the only member of the high court who wasn’t a district court judge before seeking the office.
Neither Russell nor Wilson has any announced opposition. If he’s re-elected it will be Russell’s second full term. He was originally appointed to the bench to fill the remainder of Mike Griffin’s term after he retired.
It will be Wilson’s second term if he’s elected.
They are two of Nevada’s 88 district judges who are up for election this cycle. Most will file with their county election officials. District 1 — Carson City and Storey County — is one of four judicial districts that includes more than one county.
In addition, District Judge Kimberly Wanker filed for District 5, including Esmeralda, Mineral and Nye counties, and Kevin Pasquale in District 6, which includes Humboldt, Lander and Pershing counties, filed for re-election.
Because of that, judicial candidates in those districts file with the Secretary of State’s Office.