Crowell and Haskins keep it friendly

The candidates for Carson City mayor in their first debate since the primary narrowed the field from six to two exchanged compliments, spoke of their friendship and made good-natured jokes about each other.

"We have a lot more in common than we differ on," said Ken Haskins Wednesday night after talking about his closeness with his opponent, Bob Crowell.

"Ken is absolutely correct about our relationship," Crowell said.

Haskins, a pastor, and Crowell, an attorney, have been friendly since they filed for the seat that will be open after three-term Mayor Marv Teixeira retires at the end of the year.

Haskins got about a quarter of the vote in the non-partisan primary. Crowell got close to half.

Crowell had joked at the previous forum, the last before the Aug. 12 primary, that he was happy to have Haskins sitting next to him at a political debate, pointing out both of their occupations.

The two at the most recent debate hosted by the League of Women Voters of Nevada did talk about their key issues.

Haskins stressed his fiscal conservatism and accessibility to voters. Crowell pointed to the importance of an attractive downtown, regional cooperation, public safety, a strong economy and finishing the bypass.

The moderator of the debate, Maud Naroll, asked about the questions that will be on the November ballot. One would increase sales taxes for the V&T Railway project and one would raise property taxes for the sheriff's and fire departments.

Crowell said he will vote for both. Haskins said he will vote against both.

Carson City has paid more than any other county involved in the state V&T project, Haskins said, and the $21 million the city has given with little from other counties "hardly seems equitable to me."

He said it is not fair to increase taxes in this economy so he would vote against the other question as well.

Private funding and money from other counties is needed for the V&T, Crowell said, but the project running from Virginia City to Carson City has already come so far.

"I'm concerned we put $21 million into a project that ends at Mound House," he said.

The candidates said they would respect the decision of voters on both issues, however.

The general election is Nov. 4.

- Contact reporter Dave Frank at dfrank@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1212.

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