Local debates this week

Candidates for Carson City mayor and supervisors will debate this week in the first major forum since the primary narrowed the fields earlier this month.

Six candidates had run for mayor and five for Ward 4 supervisor. Since there were only two candidates that filed for Ward 2 supervisor, that race went straight to the general election.

Candidates for Carson City offices will debate Wednesday, Sept. 3, in the forum hosted by the League of Women Voters of Nevada. A debate on the city's ballot questions, one that would raise sales taxes for the V&T Railway project and another that would raise property taxes for the fire and sheriff's department, will be Sept. 5.

Candidates for State Assembly Districts 38, 39 and 40 will also debate that night.

Bob Crowell, who nearly won the mayor's race by almost getting half the vote in the Aug. 12 primary, said he will focus on the same issues in the general election that he talked about in the primary: An attractive downtown, regional cooperation, public safety, a strong economy and finishing the bypass.

He and his opponent, Ken Haskins, both said they will run friendly campaigns and that they agree on most issues.

Crowell, an attorney, said the biggest difference between him and Haskins is that he has a public record people can judge him by, though that isn't meant as an attack on Haskins.

The Carson City School Board he sits on has over the past 10 years invested millions of dollars in infrastructure, moved the budget out of deficit and increased the board's bond rating " all without raising taxes, he said.

Haskins, pastor of First Christian Church, said both he and Crowell are long-time residents and active in community service, but the "sharpest contrast" between them is their positions on the ballot questions.

The pastor, who has run as a fiscal conservative, said he opposes the two questions, whereas Crowell has said he will vote for both.

More attention will be on the Ward 2 supervisor race now that the primary is over and Dennis Johnson, who is challenging incumbent Shelly Aldean, said he wants to talk about public trust and how the current board of supervisors is "failing miserably" to earn it.

Johnson, a consultant, said "there are a lot of issues there" but that he doesn't want to say too much before the debate.

"In Nevada, you don't want to play poker with your cards face up," he said.

Aldean and incumbent Ward 4 Supervisor Richard Staub have both said the board has done a good job of managing the city's budget and staff while getting the government through a tough economic slump.

The general election is Nov. 4.

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