Veteran Independent American Party activist John Wagner recently died of a heart attack.
Wagner, of Carson City, was one of the driving forces behind the IAP for more than a decade. He chaired the party for nearly eight years and was a candidate for office himself in several election cycles including this year.
His daughter Kim Cantacessi said he went into the hospital for surgery but developed an infection that required a second surgery. She said that resulted in two heart attacks that eventually took his life.
He was 83.
Longtime friend and fellow IAP activist Janine Hansen said Wagner was “very active and engaged” in politics.
“He did so much for the party,” she said. “He was the one who initiated our citizen lobby workshops which we’re now conducting all over the state.”
Wagner was the IAP challenger seeking to unseat Republican Ben Kieckhefer in state Senate District 16 this election cycle. Elections Deputy Wayne Thorley said since the paper ballots have already been printed, his name will remain on the November ballot.
In 2010, Wagner ran for Secretary of State. Wagner also ran for Assembly District 40 representing Carson City in 2008 and 2014.
Born in Sand Francisco, Wagner moved to Nevada in December 1999 after retiring from Sony. He was an electrical engineer for that company and an instructor in the use of advanced production and TV equipment.
He’s survived by his wife Sidney and daughter Kim. They’ve scheduled a celebration of life October 6 at 3:30 p.m. at the Wagner home, 780 Norfolk Drive in Carson City.