Small ballot awaits primary voters
June 10, 2012
With early voting over, Nevada election officials are gearing up for Tuesday’s primary election.
A total of 4,135 Carson City residents voted during early voting. Clerk-Recorder Alan Glover said that because early voting accounts for just over half of the total turnout in recent elections, he expects that about 35 percent of the 22,419 registered in the capital will vote in this primary.
Turnout for the general election, however, will be much higher because it’s a presidential election year.
For the primary, polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Community Center and Fuji Park Exhibit Hall in Carson City.
In Carson City, it’s the smallest ballot in years. The sample ballot was printed on a single sheet of paper. One reason is that several incumbents face no opposition. Under a change by lawmakers, unopposed candidates no longer go to the general election ballot. Since they need just one vote to claim the office, they are now on the primary ballot, which lawmakers reasoned should save some campaign spending.
In Carson this cycle, that includes Mayor Bob Crowell – the first time a mayor has been unopposed in recent memory – along with Justice of the Peace John Tatro and school board member Steve Reynolds.
The Ward 2 and Ward 4 supervisor races both have primaries. There is no incumbent in Ward 2, where Shelley Aldean decided not to seek another term.
Four candidates filed for the post – Brad Bonkowski, Dennis Johnson, Maurice White and Stacie Wilke-McCulloch.
In Ward 4, Molly Walt drew two opponents: Amy Clemens and Jim Shirk.
All Carson City offices are nonpartisan.
There will, of course, be primaries for U.S. Senate, in which five Democrats including Rep. Shelley Berkley, and five Republicans, including Sen. Dean Heller, are running. Minor party candidates are nominated by the party and don’t have primaries.
In Congressional District 2, Republican incumbent Mark Amodei has no opposition in the primary. He will face the survivor of the three Democrats in the general.
There are several uncontested legislative races statewide, but both Carson City’s Pete Livermore and Douglas County’s Kelly Kite drew primary opposition. Livermore faces fellow Republican Phillip Davies. The winner faces Democrat Rich Dunn in November. Kite drew two GOP opponents in District 39 – Gary Schmidt and Jim Wheeler. The winner faces Independent American David Schumann in the general.
Three Republican assembly members are unopposed in Northern Nevada: Ira Hansen of Sparks in District 32, which stretches from Sparks to central Humboldt County; Tom Grady is unopposed in District 38 in Lyon and Churchill counties; and John Ellison is unopposed in District 33, Elko.
There are three candidates in the state Senate District 19 race, representing a large swath of rural Nevada including part of Clark, Elko, Eureka, Lincoln, part of Nye and White Pine. Frontrunner Pete Goicoechea, the outgoing Assembly Republican leader, has no primary opponent. In the general, he faces an Independent American and a Democrat.
For the Nevada System of Higher Education, Regent Ron Knecht has two opponents, Michon Mackedon and Richard Riendeau; the latter has withdrawn but his name will still appear on the ballot.
Five people are running for the state Board of Education, including two incumbents pitted against each other by the legislative changes in the board’s structure, Dave Cook and Adriana Fralick. The other candidates are Ray Bacon, Donna Clontz and Scott Carey.
Once the primary is over, state law gives candidates just 30 days to track down and take down all their signs. Winners can leave theirs up until after the November general election if they wish.