Willis dominates Carson City Justice of the Peace race

Carson City Justice of the Peace Robey Willis will return to the bench for six more years after winning 80.6 percent - or 7,130 votes - in Tuesday's election and avoiding a November runoff.

Contractor Ron Weddell, who has battled Willis in court as well as at the ballot box, came in a distant second. Despite announcing his withdrawal from the race, Weddell garnered 936 votes - 10.6 percent.

Former Los Angeles police officer William Kreider came in third with 776 votes, or 8.8 percent.

"It's a great night," Willis said at a victory party thrown at a friend's house on Kings Canyon Road. "We are all happy with the results. It goes to show that Carson City has the most informed voters of anywhere in the state."

Willis is one of the targets of a grand jury investigation being sought by Weddell, who became a candidate to draw attention to his on-going battle over a 1997 arrest.

Willis, however, said his landslide victory was an indication that Weddell's effort had misguided voters who signed a petition calling for the grand-jury investigation.

"The (election) results validate what a lot of people have said about the grand jury - that a lot of people were lied to," Willis said.

Although Weddell said in July that he was no longer a candidate, he said Tuesday he would have renewed his campaign had he garnered enough votes to force a general election runoff.

"For a guy who withdrew from the race, I'm not that unhappy," he said. "If Robey didn't get it, I'd put up my signs and go for it again. Robey must have gotten nervous in the end. He paid for ads in the paper."

Since 1997, when Weddell stood in front of Willis for a preliminary hearing on felony charges, Weddell has been battling to have the judge brought up on charges of obstructing justice.

In the grand jury petition filed last week in Carson City District Court, Weddell alleges Willis and District Attorney Noel Waters attempted to remove a criminal complaint filed in Willis' office. The petition accuses other officials and Carson City sheriff's deputies with a variety of misdeeds.

Kreider was conciliatory in his loss to Willis. He did not campaign or run ads during the primary election season.

"It looks like Robey's there," he said Tuesday night. "That's fine. Robey's a good guy and a great judge."

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