Parnell better choice in Assembly 40

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The race between incumbent Ron Knecht and challenger Bonnie Parnell for the District 40 seat in the Nevada Assembly has been described as a difference in style.

In Knecht, voters in Carson City have a Republican conservative who tends to take a big-picture approach, such as proposing for the 2005 session a cap on state budget growth.

Parnell, a middle-of-the-road Democrat, has a more personal touch, like the law making threats with a gun a felony. It was pushed by a Carson City mother whose daughter was murdered.

We think Parnell better suits the district, and we urge Carson City voters to support her.

As for substance, both candidates have a great deal. In that respect, Carson City will be fortunate either way to again have a smart, experienced, hard-working representative in the Assembly.

Knecht, who works for the Public Utilities Commission, is an economist with law and engineering degrees. He has involved himself widely in community activities and was elected two years ago, despite being the "new kid" in Nevada.

Parnell has two legislative terms under her belt, having given up the seat that Knecht won in 2002. She's a former Nevada state Teacher of the Year and 28-year resident of Carson City.

She distinguished herself during her terms by being neither a pawn of the teachers' union, a tag some had tried to place on her, nor a foot soldier of the Democratic Party. Parnell showed an independent streak in her thinking and a willingness to vote the way she believed her constituents would favor, rather than a strict adherence to party lines.

It's a distinction from Knecht, who is best known from the 2003 Legislature as one of the 15 Republican holdouts on tax increases, and unfortunately for his joke bill draft on "East California."

The first was a principled, if extreme, stand. The second was inconsequential, except among the Carson City residents who found it to be embarrassing.

Parnell served well for four years in the Legislature and is qualified to serve well again.


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