Along with the election of a new sheriff, Carson City voters will decide three other important races Tuesday as well as the possible fate of a city-owned fairgrounds.
The ballot question asks voters whether the city should offer the fairgrounds at Fuji Park for commercial development.
The Carson City Board of Supervisors placed the issue on the ballot. They see the sale of the fairgrounds as a way to generate retail and property tax revenue and compete with Douglas County's continued commercial building spree in the area.
A group of residents have organized against selling the property, saying it is a unique recreational resource and should be preserved. Those against the question also say splitting the fairgrounds from Fuji Park would diminish the park's recreational value.
Two city incumbent officials face opponents while a third office is up for grabs.
Alan Glover, incumbent city-recorder, said he feels good about the campaign process this year. Glover is running against business owner Mary Ann Dickens for Carson City clerk-recorder.
"I feel pretty good about the election," Glover said. "We've run a good campaign. There really wasn't much to it."
Glover said he spent much of his time going to local functions around the city.
Dickens said she thinks things will turn out the way they are meant to in the end. She said her guides have wanted her to make a change in her life, so she ran for the office this year. "I thought (campaigning) has run very smoothly also," she said.
If Glover wins, it will be his third consecutive term. The Clerk-Recorder's Office is responsible for elections, marriage licenses, court clerks, records management, recording secretaries, the recorder's office and public administration.
Whoever wins won't have much time to relax after election day, Glover said. The city is facing the selection of a new voting system that will make the punch system obsolete.
"It's going to be really busy," Glover said.
In the race for city supervisor for Ward No. 3, incumbent and business owner Pete Livermore is seeking his second term as he faces Neil Weaver, owner of Weaver Aircraft Co. in his third attempt to be elected locally.
Weaver said in an earlier interview that he "abhors politics," and said he would not advertise during his campaign or take contributions. Weaver lived up to his promise as his financial statements show he only collected $100 and spent $125 on filing fees.
In the past, Weaver has hinted he is against the city's proposal to sell the fairgrounds at Fuji Park and said he will would continue to push for the Board of Supervisors to have a city attorney rather than use the District Attorney's Office for legal matters.
Livermore campaigned on five issues: traffic, economic development, open space, public safety and medical care. He said the city must continue to press for the freeway to alleviate traffic and said he thinks it is important for Carson City to continue to be available and ready for new types of retail business.
The race for assessor has been a bit more contentious than other city races. Candidate Taunya Milligan, a Realtor, has made a bid for the job against current Chief Deputy Assessor Dave Dawley.
The city assessor is responsible for determining how much each parcel of land in Carson City is worth and apply the tax rate to it. Both candidates have backgrounds in real estate and say they are qualified for the job. Assessor Kit Weaver is leaving the office after 17 years of service.
Dawley said during the campaign he hopes the election is based on experience and knowledge, while Milligan pointed out it is time for change after 17 years of one administration.
Milligan is working up to the last minute calling voters from her home. She said the campaign has been positive and the she is feeling good about election day even though the process has been stressful as she has continued her full-time job and keeping the house.
"I told my husband, 'I don't know what we're going to talk about after the election," she said.
Dawley was unavailable for comment.
Tuesday will bring three new state Assembly members
By Geoff Dornan, Appeal Capitol Bureau
When the dust clears election day, the only thing certain is that two of the three Assembly members representing Carson City will be new.
While Minority Leader Lynn Hettrick is expected to have little trouble beating Independent American Party candidate Jean Voights in District 39, the incumbents in Districts 38 and 40 have retired. In a district with a better than 2 to 1 GOP registration advantage, no Democrat filed for the office this year.
Since both outgoing incumbents are Democrats, Hettrick's favored outcome would bring him two more seats, ensuring that the GOP controls at least one-third of the Assembly. And that would sharply increase Hettrick's clout when hammering out new taxes since tax votes require a two-thirds majority.
District 38 includes the eastern part of Carson City, Lyon and Storey counties as well as part of Churchill. It has more than 13,000 registered Republicans and 8,700 Democrats.
The seat was vacated by Speaker Emeritus Joe Dini, the Yerington Democrat who retired after a 36-year career in what he liked to call "the people's house." His son George has picked up the torch but is facing a strong challenge from Republican and former Yerington Mayor Tom Grady. Grady could lose a few votes to Independent American Dennis Gomez and the Dini name is worth considerable support but the race is still considered close.
District 40 covers the majority of Carson City but reaches into southern Washoe. Retired teacher Bonnie Parnell, a Democrat, decided not to seek re-election this year, leaving the field open. Public Utility Commission Economist Ron Knecht won the Republican primary in a field of three. He faces Democrat Stacie Wilke, who manages the Carson Horseshoe Club Casino.
Knecht has the advantage of registration -- 10,240 Republicans to 7,230 Democrats. But relying too much on that might be a mistake: Carson City in the recent past has elected Democrats to the legislature including Ernie Adler and Parnell.
Wilke has the advantage of community roots. She was born and raised in the capital, has served on the city recreation board and is completing a term on the school board. Knecht has lived in Nevada only a year.
The only other legislative races reaching into the capital district are for the Senate seats now held by Mark Amodei and Randolph Townsend. Amodei is seeking a second term in the Senate representing nearly all of Carson City and a piece of Douglas, Lyon and Storey counties. He is a Republican with a 9,000 vote registration advantage -- 23,900 to 14,800 Democrats -- facing Independent American David Schumann.
The District 4 seat is 90 percent in Washoe County but grabs about 4,000 votes along the northern boundary of Carson City. It too has a heavy GOP registration advantage -- 16,440 to 26,600.
Townsend's lone opponent is again from the Independent American Party. But unlike many Independent American candidates, Mark Holloman has campaigned for the office. Townsend is, nonetheless, expected to win easily.
Candidates far from confident in Storey County
by Susie Vasquez, Appeal Staff Writer
Storey County will elect a sheriff, district attorney and county commissioner Tuesday.
A poll of the candidates shows no one feels they will easily walk away with this election.
"I truly don't have good feel, but I've received lot of expressions of support," said incumbent Sheriff Pat Whitten. "I'm hopeful. I'd like to continue the work I've done for last four years, but I'm not over confident. This is a small county and every vote counts."
The people of Storey County put a lot of faith in the preelection poll taken at Virginia City High School. Historically, it has proven to be a good barometer and according to that vote, the sheriff's race is the closest. Whitten received 54 votes and his opponent, Tyler Carke, received 50.
"Every vote is going to count," Clarke said. "A lot of people are looking for an alternative to the current administration and if I get 80 percent of that vote, it should be enough."
In the District 1 race for Storey County Commissioner, relative newcomer Cathylee James is challenging longtime Virginia City resident John Flanagan. In the high school poll, Flanagan trounced James, 78 to 29, but Flanagan said he will campaign to the end.
"It's hard to get a feel," he said. "I'm going to continue to talk to people, but I'm very nervous. It's tough. All of the other times I ran, it seemed a lot easier."
Flanagan, 64, served on the Storey County School Board and followed in his father's footsteps, running for and winning a bid for Storey County Assessor in 1979, a post he held for 16 years.
James, 45, also started on the school board, winning her bid in 2000. She will have to leave that post if elected to the commission, but said she's accomplished her primary goal on that board: reestablishment of a music program in Storey County Schools.
She said one school board member won by just four votes last election.
"I feel very good. I'm positively hopeful," she said. "I will continued going door-to-door and talking to people."
Attorney Harold Swafford, is challenging Deputy District Attorney Sharon Claassen in the race for district attorney. Swafford trounced Claassen in the high school poll 71 to 34, but he isn't ready to declare a victory.
"I'll have to wait until the game is over," he said. "I just don't know."