District judge candidates spend heavily in campaigns

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Two men who are vying for a judgeship in the Third District Court are dishing out big bucks as the race intensifies days before voters head to the polls.

Fernley resident and Lyon County District Attorney Leon Aberasturi reported to the Nevada Secretary of State Tuesday that he has spent almost $68,000 in his bid for a seat on the bench.

His opponent, Judge Wayne A. Pederson, reported expenses of almost $48,000. Pederson was appointed by Gov. Kenny Guinn to replace retiring Judge Archie Blake in April. He hopes to retain the position amid fierce campaigning by Aberasturi.

Pederson, 53, has received $52,054 in contributions to his campaign, including $22,000 of his own money.

Other donations during the second reporting period came from Peri & Sons Farm in Yerington, which contributed $2,500 to Pederson's effort. A $1,000 campaign donation came from R. Heifers, LLC in Yerington.

Smaller contributions reported include: $200 from Thomas Bobrick of Yerington; $200 from the Carson City law firm Smith & Harner; $350 from Gardnerville law firm Brooks, Shaw & Zumpft and $500 from Reno attorney Renate Neumann.

Other than $345 for a political consultant, Pederson has spent the bulk of his money on advertising.

Aberasturi's campaign contribution and expense report shows he received $71,075 in contributions as of Tuesday. He spent $67,800, including $2,000 for a Yerington consultant.

The candidate also spent $950 for a special event at the Dayton Country Club with the balance mainly going for advertising.

Aberasturi, 39, loaned $16,000 to his campaign from personal funds.

He is supported by several elected Republican officials and received $1,500 from the Lyon County Republican Central Committee. Nevada State Sen. Mark Amodei's campaign committee gave Aberasturi $1,000. Another $1,500 came from Tom Grady, a Republican assemblyman representing District 38. Both officials are seeking re-election.

Other contributions to Aberasturi's campaign are: Ken and Margaret Spooner of Yerington, $200; John Alexander of Silver Springs, $200; T. Boyd of Dayton, $125; David Fulstone Consulting in Yerington, $100; Kathleen Stephens of Yerington, $50; Nancy Dallas of Yerington, $100; Malcolm Redwine of Yerington, $100; Peggy Gray of Fernley, $200; Theodore J. Day of Reno, $500; Casino West of Yerington, $200; Renate M. Neumann of Reno, $500; the Reno law firm of Erickson, Thorpe & Swainston, $250; Thomas Aberasturi of Chicago, $500, and Sonterra Development Co. of Roseville, Calif., $250.

Candidates for elected office do not have to name the source of contributions that are under $100 or list expenses less than $100. Aberasturi reports he received $20 as a donation under the reporting limit.

Pederson's statement shows he received $2,614 in contributions that were less than $100 each.

The Third Judicial District covers Churchill and Lyon counties. District judges without longevity pay make $130,000 a year.

Whomever is elected by voters Tuesday will serve the remaining two years of Blake's term. The governor's appointment expires Jan. 1.


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