Candidate filing opens today

Beginning today, those who have been talking about running for office have to make a decision.

The filing period for candidates is May 5-16 for non-judicial offices. For judges, the filing period was in January.

None of Nevada's constitutional offices is open this year. The governor's office and other constitutional executive posts were all filled two years ago. And neither U.S. Senator from Nevada is up for re-election this year.

But all three congressional representatives - Republicans Jon Porter and Dean Heller and Democrat Shelley Berkley - are seeking re-election.

Heller is facing a second challenge from Democrat Jill Derby, whom he defeated two years ago. She entered the race a month ago saying Heller failed to keep his campaign promises to be independent and put Nevada interests first.

A total of 10 Nevada Senate seats are up for grabs - seven of them in Clark County - along with all 42 Nevada Assembly posts.

All eyes will be on the Senate District 5 and District 6 seats held by Republicans Bob Beers and Joe Heck respectively. There, voter registration numbers have shifted, giving Democrats a shot at taking those districts and the Democrat Party has said they will make a push to take control of the Senate there.

But Senate Minority Leader Dina Titus's District 7 seat is also being eyed closely because she is challenging Rep. Jon Porter in Congressional District 3, which now has a solid Democrat registration advantage. The district, however, is heavily Democratic and unlikely to go Republican

November 2008 will be the last election cycle before term limits kicks in, potentially removing seven of Nevada's 21 Senators including Carson City Senator Mark Amodei and 13 of the 42 Assembly members.

In addition, four members of the Board of Regents and six members of the Board of Education are up for election this year.

Candidates for federal office and state candidates whose districts include more than one county must file with the Secretary of State's office. Those seeking an office that represents just one county file with that county's elections officer.

A host of local offices are also open this year, including Carson City mayor and the supervisors' seats held by Shelly Aldean and Richard Staub. Both have announced plans to run again.

Most other seats in the city, including clerk, sheriff and district attorney, were elected two years ago. Carson's elections deputy Sue Dunt said the only other local races on the ballot are the three school board seats currently held by Jim Lemaire, John McKenna and Joanna Wilson.

In the past, every candidate for office including the judges filed in the same period. The judges were moved to January because so many of them run unopposed. With judicial candidate filings over by mid January, the state was able to pass a law prohibiting them from raising campaign funds if they don't have an opponent.

• Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at gdornan@nevadaappeal.com or 687-8750.

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