Some longtime Carson residents were surprised this week to see "John Ensign for Senate" and "Bernstein for Senate" among the entries for the Nevada Day parade.
That's because there's no active politicking allowed in the state's annual parade.
Nevada Day Chairman Joe DiLonardo said all the politicians participating in the parade have been advised not to try to distribute campaign literature or drum up votes. He said the Ensign and Bernstein groups reserved their parade slots under those names, but that the actual cars or floats carrying the two candidates won't be allowed to mention the U.S. Senate seat they are seeking.
"They can go in there, but they cannot advertise 'Vote for Bernstein' or 'Vote for Ensign.' They have both been advised they cannot in any way solicit any votes or have any articles or signs relative to that.
"It's a requirement that you cannot politicize the event," he said.
DiLonardo said they will be reminded again Saturday morning and those with political campaign signs on their vehicle won't be permitted in the parade.
Nonetheless, it's the first time in recent memory that a group name such as "John Ensign for Senate" has appeared in the parade lineup. None of the other politicians participating, such as Assemblywoman Bonnie Parnell, even listed the office they are seeking.
Speaker Joe Dini of Yerington listed only his title, as did Rep. Jim Gibbons and the state's constitutional officers from Gov. Kenny Guinn to the treasurer. In fact, Treasurer Brian Krolicki's title was in the program but his name was missing. And Attorney General Frankie Sue Del Papa was absent from the list of participants altogether. She was reportedly planning to be in Washington, D.C., on Saturday.
Sen. Richard Bryan, D-Nev., who is retiring from that office at the end of the year, will be the grand marshal for the parade.