Races develop for 2 Carson City court seats

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Two races have developed for judicial offices in Carson City, one for justice of the peace in department 2 and the other for judge in First Judicial District Court Department 2.

Judicial filing ended Friday. According to the Nevada Secretary of State’s Office, Carson attorneys Daniel Spence, Tyson League and Melanie Bruketta all filed for justice of the peace in department 2. The Carson City Board of Supervisors will consider appointing an interim justice of the peace Feb. 1 to fill the rest of former Justice of the Peace Kristin Luis’ term. Because three candidates filed for a new term to begin in 2025, they will go to the June primary.

According to Carson City Clerk-Recorder Scott Hoen, the top two candidates from the primary will go to the general election in November.

“However,” he said by email, “if one of the three receives 50 percent + 1, they win in the June election and don’t go to the general.”

Luis left her justice of the peace seat after being appointed to First Judicial Court by Gov. Joe Lombardo. The appointment lasts until a judge is elected this year. Luis has filed for election to fill the remainder of predecessor Judge James Wilson’s term that ends Jan. 4, 2027. Carson attorney Mark Krueger has also filed for the position. Because only two candidates filed, the race will go to the general election in November.

Justice of the Peace Thomas Armstrong filed for reelection to his seat in department 1 of judicial and municipal court. No one filed against Armstrong, so he will go straight to the general election in November, Hoen said.

Filing for nonjudicial office opens March 4.

Justice of the Peace

Melanie Bruketta, a former deputy district attorney and former human resources director for Carson City, graduated from Carson High, attended UNR and Gonzaga School of Law. A mother of three, Bruketta currently runs a private solo law practice and said in a press release she believes in both compassion and accountability.

“The justice court is one of the most important functions of local government, helping not only to keep the community safe, but also provide important resources to qualified individuals,” Bruketta said. “I’m passionate about protecting individuals’ rights through accountability, integrity and fairness. Everyone deserves to be heard in the justice system, and I have proudly worked my entire career to build toward filling this critical role in our community.”

League went to Chapman University and Whittier Law School. In a press release, he said he began his legal career at the Carson City District Attorney’s Office in 2014. He is currently supervising deputy district attorney. He and his wife have a son.

“My goal is to maintain the quality of service provided by utilizing my experience within the Justice Court to serve as a foundation for proper decision making,” he said. “I have spent thousands of hours in Justice Court as an attorney and have significant experience working with specialty court programs. There is a history of sound decision making within the courts in Carson City, and I feel I am the most qualified to carry on that important tradition.”

Spence is a 1993 Carson High graduate. He went to the University of Nevada, Reno, and Barry Law School. He has three adult children and one grandchild. He opened his law firm in Carson in 2013 and has been “running it solo since.”

“I currently also hold one of the three conflict counsel contracts for Carson City,” he said in an email. “I have always wanted and planned on becoming a judge one day. My law firm has been set up from day one as a general law practice. This would give me the best chance of becoming exposed to all the different fields of law. With the idea that this general experience would round me out and give me the most skills I will need to be a fair and balanced judge.”


Justice of the Peace Thomas Armstrong was first elected in 2012 after being appointed to the role by the Board of Supervisors. He was reelected in 2018. Armstrong grew up in Carlin and attended UNR and the University of Utah. He and his wife have two young children.

In a statement, Armstrong pointed to a drug court program in his tenure that aims to rehabilitate young addicts.

“During my time on the bench for the past 12-plus years, I have collaborated with local community leaders and other members of the judiciary to develop a successful and dynamic program to positively intervene in the lives of Carson City’s young misdemeanor offenders,” he said. “I am proud of the success of the Misdemeanor Treatment Court yet strive to make it the best program it can be, because Carson City deserves it.”

First Judicial District Court

Mark Krueger currently serves as the chief deputy attorney general and consumer counsel in the Nevada Attorney General's Bureau of Consumer Protection. He was previously assistant district attorney in Carson City and Lyon County, respectively. He has three kids: two adults and a teenager.

“A district judge hears a mix of criminal and civil cases, and my extensive experience in both has prepared me to be a fair and objective judge,” Krueger told the Appeal by email. “In my 23-year career, I’ve participated in more than 40 jury trials, and I will bring my wealth of courtroom and trial experience with me to the bench. As a judge, I will treat all the people before me in an unbiased, respectful fashion and will base my decisions on the facts and the law. It is important for me to instill confidence in the judicial process by helping our citizens resolve disputes.”

Kristin Luis was assistant district attorney in Carson City and led the criminal division before being elected justice of the peace in 2018. She had also served as a juvenile special master in First Judicial District Court. According to a press release, Luis is a native Nevadan who went to UNR and Gonzaga University. She and her husband have two daughters.

“As a judge, my goal is always to make sure the law is followed and that all parties are treated with respect and fairness,” Luis said. “It is important for the public to understand the role of this position and its impact on them. As a candidate, I am looking forward to meeting more members of my community and earning their trust and their votes by explaining my role and addressing questions or concerns they may have about the court system.”


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