Campaigns are under way for justice court judges.

The campaign season is under way for incumbent Justices of the Peace Robey Willis and John Tatro.

Both men, who preside over the lower courts in Carson City, have fund-raising events planned for this month that they say will help them bring their messages to Carson City voters.

Willis, an avid runner and self-professed "weekend hack" golfer, is planning the "Run With Robey" and a golf tournament on April 29 to bring interested voters together to support his campaign.

The 5-kilometer (3.1 mile) run/walk is scheduled to start at 8 a.m. at the Empire Ranch Golf Course clubhouse. The walkers will get a head start at 8 a.m., followed by the runners 15 minutes later.

"I don't expect to make too much money, but I thought we'd have a big day for everyone to have fun," he said. "The response has been great. Everyone is welcome, no matter what their skill levels."

Willis, 57, said the event, sponsored by the Sagebrush Stompers and Friends of Robey Willis, has several entry classes. The entry fee is $18 before April 26 when the price jumps to $20.

The golf tournament check-in, also at Empire Ranch, is scheduled for 9 a.m., with a the shotgun start at 10 a.m. The format is a four-person scramble with entry limited to the first 144 players. The entry fee is $100 and includes greens fees, carts, a T-shirt, barbecue lunch and prizes.

Players will be entered for a $500 grand prize. Tickets for the barbecue lunch for non-players may be purchased for $15. For information call Race Director Jo Kilpatrick at 883-3085 or Tournament Director Skip Thurman at 883-1773.

Tatro's reelection campaign will kick off April 14 with a food tasting party at the home of Sonny and Kelly Newman with food from 12 area restaurants and caterers. Local musicians "The String Beans" will be on hand for entertainment.

Donations of $100 or more per guest will buy a ticket to the event. For information and reservations call Marilyn Lewis at 882-7756.

"It's fairly extravagant," Tatro said. "If no one runs against me, I will donate the money to the Boys & Girls Club and the Rotary Club."

This year's election will be the second for Tatro, 46, since he was appointed in 1995. His position was created the previous year.

Tatro said the strength of his tenure has been a tough policy on crime guided by participation and knowledge of the community in which he serves.

"A lot of people think judges should back away from participating in the community because of potential conflicts," he said. "My opinion is that I learn so much about the community by being active."

Tatro serves as the board marketing chairman for the Boys & Girls Club of Western Nevada and will soon assume the presidency of the Carson City Rotary. He has long been a coach in AYSO soccer and Little League, participating in school and sports with sons Don and Nick, ages 17 and 9.

Willis has been in the courtroom since taking over the post of Judge John Ray, who retired in 1989. Before that he presided over juvenile cases.

A former Stewart School history and civics teacher, boxing and football coach, Willis jokingly refers to himself as a "jack of all trades, master of none."

He was named judge of the year in 1991 and man of the year in 1987 by the Carson City Area Chamber of Commerce.


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