Filing for office closes for 2004

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Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., will be spared a primary election in this year's campaign for a fourth six-year term.

But there's no shortage of candidates seeking to replace him. Five Republicans - Cherie Tilley, Royle Melton, Richard Ziser, Carlo Poliak and Robert Brown Jr. - filed for the seat as of the close of filing Friday at 5 p.m. along with David Schumann of the Independent American Party, Libertarian Thomas Hurst and Gary Marinch of the Natural Law Party.

Reid, who has amassed a campaign war chest of more than $7 million, is the favorite to return to the U.S. Senate where he is the number two Democrat.

Rep. Jim Gibbons, R-Nev., is also the strong favorite to win a fifth term in Nevada's second congressional district. Like Reid, he has no Primary opponent but faces several general-election challengers including Democrats David Bennett, Angie Cochran and Dan Maxey, Libertarian Brendan Trainor and Independent American Janine Hansen.

The primary election is scheduled for Sept. 7 and the general election Nov. 2.

In congressional District 3, first-term Republican Jon Porter faces six Democratic challengers as well as Libertarian Joe Silvestri and Independent American Richard O'Dell.

Shelley Berkley, the District 1 incumbent, faces Libertarian Jim Duensing and three Republicans. But Berkley also faces a primary against two Democrats - Brian Kral and Ann Reynolds.

There will be at least seven new faces in the Nevada Assembly because three incumbents - Democrats Tom Collins, Vonne Chowning and David Goldwater - are running for Clark County Commission seats, three Republicans - Walter Andonov, David Brown and Dawn Gibbons - decided not to seek re-election and Bob Beers is trying to move to the Senate. At least one Senator will be new because 32-year veteran Joe Neal of North Las Vegas decided to retire.

Three legislative races are rematches. Democrat Marcia de Braga of Fallon is challenging Pete Goicoechea, R-Eureka, who beat her in District 35 two years ago. Democrat Debbie Smith of Sparks is trying to reclaim her seat from Republican Don Gustavson of Sun Valley and Democrat Doug Bache is trying to do the same against fellow Democrat Bob McCleary of Las Vegas.

There is a fourth rematch in the Board of Education seat representing Carson City, Douglas and part of Washoe County where Dave Cook is trying to oust Barbara Myers who took the seat from him four years ago. Former Carson School Board member Stacie Wilke is trying to replace both of them.

There is one more race which sounds like a rematch even though it isn't: the battle for District 40 in Carson City. Incumbent Ron Knecht, a Republican, faces Bonnie Parnell, the Democrat who held that seat two terms before deciding not to run in 2002. Independent American Merritt "Ike" Yochum is also in that race.

In Douglas County, independent nonpartisan candidate Randy Green, a school teacher who won election to the school board, but was blocked from office by a judge who said teachers can't be on the school board, is running against Republican incumbent Lynn Hettrick. Hettrick is Assembly minority leader.

Tom Grady, R-Yerington, faces Democrat Cathylee James and IAP candidate Dennis Gomez in District 38, which includes Storey, Lyon and part of Carson City.

Voters can expect to be thoroughly confused by the Senate District 1 race in Las Vegas. Incumbent Ray Shafer is seeking his sixth term. But Shafer two years ago jumped ship on the Democratic party and became a Republican. His name recognition may not help much in the heavily Democratic district since there were three candidates with, phonetically, the same name in the race. Perennial candidate Mike Schaeffer filed as a Democrat against him. Shafer countered Friday as his wife Sharon Shafer filed as a Democrat in the race.

The confusion might benefit former Democratic Assemblyman John Lee who is also in the race.

The only uncontested incumbent in the Legislature this year is William Horne, D-Las Vegas, who represents District 34.

Contact Geoff Dornan at or 687-8750.


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