Mayor candidates to speak at local Republicans meeting

While the race for Carson City mayor is technically non-partisan, Joe Di Lonardo figures the Republicans will win no matter what.

"We can't lose," said Joe Di Lonardo, chairman of the Carson City Republican Central Committee. "We gotta end up with somebody with an "R" after their name anyway."

All four candidates for mayor are registered Republicans and will address the city's Republican committee Wednesday. Everyone, including Democrats, is invited to attend.

"The people who come to these meetings are the movers and the shakers of Carson City," Di Lonardo said. "We've invited (the candidates) to address the central committee on why they should be mayor.

"People need to make a decision on who they're going to support. The timing is right. We've only got three months (until the primary election.) These candidates have got to get some name recognition, especially those who haven't been involved for a lot of years."

Candidates Tom Keeton, Ray Masayko, Tom Tatro and Neil Weaver will attend Wednesday's meeting. Jeanne Simons, Republican candidate for Assembly District 40, will speak as well. The forum is not for debate, just a chance for introductions to the candidates and issues, Di Lonardo said.

Mayoral candidates said Carson residents have at least a few weeks' reprieve before fund-raisers start and campaign signs go up.

Mayor Ray Masayko said he doesn't plan on hitting the campaign trail until after July 4.

"I think it's early, but you don't pass up an opportunity to give people information on why you want to be mayor," Masayko said. "I'll tell them whatever they want to hear for however long they want to hear it. It's an opportunity to talk about my accomplishments and plans for the future."

Tom Keeton was not available for comment.

Tom Tatro's campaign is a few weeks from getting under way, but he's getting ready for the campaign season with help from the Internet. Right now, his website solicits volunteer information, but will eventually be home to more campaign information.

"It is the year 2000, and this is how people communicate," Tatro said. "This is one way I can be available and a way people can find out more about me. They can e-mail me their questions and thoughts."

Weaver said he is abandoning his previous stance not to take money to support a campaign. It wasn't a popular idea when he ran for Ward 3 supervisor in 1998, and it has no popular support now, he said.

"I'm learning rather rapidly what campaigning is all about," Weaver said. "It's about fund raising and meeting people you think will support you. This will be an expensive campaign.

For the first speaking engagement, he plans on giving an overview of "what I've seen in the last three years in Carson City and why I don't think we're on the right path.

"Since I always manage to talk politics with whoever is in the room, it's not the start of my campaign," Weaver said. "I'm definitely an outsider. But you've got to introduce ourselves to people, tell them where you've been and why you have the temerity to say you want to be mayor."

If you go:

What: Carson City Republican Central Committee

When: Wednesday, 7:30 p.m.

Where: Ormsby House's Grand Ballroom, 600 S. Carson St.

For information, call 883-7633 or 887-1110.


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