Western Nevada and rural assembly members file for re-election

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A half dozen western Nevada and rural Assembly members filed for office on the opening day of campaign season Monday -- including two Republicans seeking to replace Bonnie Parnell.

In fact, all the candidates who filed Monday were Republicans.

Parnell, the two-term Democrat representing Carson City's District 40, has said she won't seek re-election.

Bill Reeves, 64, and Tom Keeton, 69, will face each other in the primary.

Reeves said he brings extensive business and community service experience to the job of helping Carson City get its fair share of needed revenues and services. But he is reserving comment on whether he will support increased taxes.

"Don't add more taxes until you find out that the ones we have now are being spent wisely," he said in a recent interview.

An industrial developer, he has served on the state's drug abuse prevention commission and is the former head of Carson Access Television and director of the MainStreet Project.

Keeton, who retired from Lockheed Corp. as director of creative communications, said he is running because of the impact the state Legislature has on Carson City.

"When I ran for (Carson City mayor) two years ago, I realized that an enormous amount of this city's fate rests with the Legislature," he said.

He too said he wants to examine the needs before deciding whether the state needs to increase taxes and, if so, how.

"I believe I can do a great deal of good for Carson City in the Legislature.

Assembly Minority Leader Lynn Hettrick also filed Monday. The 58-year-old will be seeking his sixth term representing Douglas County and South Carson City.

Asked about taxes, he said there will be changes because the state needs more revenue.

"But I hate the term structural deficit because since I've been here, all we've had is surpluses," he said.

Hettrick, a Republican, said he wants to see what the options are.

"There's a requirement for more money," he said. "Overall, revenue for the state of Nevada will increase."

The first filing of the day was by veteran Battle Mountain lawmaker John Marvel, who elections officials said arrived as they opened for business. Marvel, 75, was first elected to the Assembly in 1978. He said with redistricting, District 34 now spreads across Lander and Humboldt counties as well as reaching into northern Washoe County.

A Republican, he said he wants to hear from the people who will pay new taxes before voting for them.

"I don't want to raise any if we can help it. But the value of the legislature is letting people come in and testify and then weighing the alternatives."

Pete Goicoechea, 53, a four-term member of the Humboldt County Commission and chairman for most of that time, filed for the District 35 seat now held by Marcia deBraga, D-Fallon.

A third generation member of a well known northern and eastern Nevada ranching family, he said he believes he can work with southern lawmakers to cure some of the problems rural Nevada is suffering.

"I clearly know the impacts legislation has, good or bad, on rural counties.

On the subject of taxes, he said he favors user fees over general taxes and that "unfortunately, government has to downsize."

Political newcomer Rod Sherer of Pahrump filed for the District 36 seat representing most of central rural Nevada. Sherer, 37, is manager of the Smith's grocery store in Pahrump. He said he needs more information on the tax issue but that he knows that education in particular has needs. He made it clear those needs aren't just financial.

"We've got to look at getting our schools going in the right direction -- some accountability," he said.

And he said lawmakers need to do something to develop more jobs in rural Nevada.

Filing is open through May 20. All statewide and multi-county offices must file with the Secretary of State's Office. Those representing just one county file with the county clerk in that county.


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