Tedford, Hyde and Blakey win their seats

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A low turnout of Churchill County voters cast ballots Tuesday night in the primary election, re-electing Fallon’s mayor, retaining the justice of the peace and selecting two new commissioners.

The tally is unofficial until the county receives the rest of the mail-in ballots, which must be received no later than Friday, and the approval of the current commissioners who canvas the final results.

Out of 17,195 registered voters in Churchill County, only 5,008 or 29.12% cast votes. According to the Churchill County Clerk’s office, 3,482 out of 8,541 Republicans voted, while 845 Democrats out of 2,048 selected candidates. Ten percent of nonpartisan voters — 681 out of 6,606 — could cast ballots. Nonpartisan voters couldn’t vote for party-affiliated candidates such as those running for Churchill County Commission.

Ken Tedford


Ken Tedford won re-election to the top city position by defeating two opponents for Fallon mayor.

Tedford, a lifelong resident of Fallon who has served as mayor for more than two decades, came out on top of a three-candidate race, defeating Luai Ababneh and Jacob Robertson.

The mayor received 1,035 votes in the nonpartisan race compared to 241 votes for Robertson and 77 for Ababneh.

Tedford, who has been mayor since 1995, grew up in Fallon, attended schools here and then the University of Nevada, Reno. His parents began Tedford Tires in 1947, and they instilled in him to the need to lead and the importance of being involved.

Matt Hyde


Tedford said the mayor is the chief executive officer of the city and with that comes many roles. Additionally, he said he focuses on senior citizen issues as well as establishing a Mayor’s Youth Fund. Tedford said he strongly supports the military and veterans.

Ababneh, who was born in Saudi Arabia but grew up in Jordan, is a retired businessman. He was also an interpreter for the U.S. Army before coming to the United States.

Robertson, who has spent more than two decades living in Fallon, said the city needed “a fresh face” and new look.

Karla Kent, who was seeking a second term on the Fallon City Council, ran unopposed.

Ben Trotter won a second term as New River Township Justice of the Peace with 61% of the vote. Out of 4,930 votes, he received 3,045 to Brenda Ingram’s 1,242. Dr. Stuart Richardson finished third with 643.

Matt Hyde easily defeated Julie Guerrero-Goetsch for County Commission, District 1, 2,218 votes to 1,118.

Both Hyde and Guerrero-Goetsch are county employees, and they both serve as trustees on the Churchill County School Board.

Ben Trotter


Hyde, a longtime employee of CC Communications, plans to retire from the agency at the end of this year if he wins the commission office.

With his experience on the school board, Hyde said he can bring experience to the board. He said school trustees also handle similar problems the commissioners face.

Hyde said issues facing the county include affordable housing and living wage jobs. He also said it was important for the county to maintain its infrastructure and provide a good quality of life for the residents. He also advocates a strong working relationship with the U.S. Navy.

Guerrero-Goetsch is the Administrative Services manager for Churchill County. She has been with the county for 20 years and was willing to give up her current position to serve as a commissioner.

Guerrero-Goetsch said she understands how the county departments work and also understands property rights, water resources, small businesses and the value of local governments serving local community interests.

Currently, Guerrero-Goetsch is serving her first term on the Churchill County School Board. She was one of four candidates in 2022 who won election.

Three candidates running for three open Churchill County School Board seats are in. However, their names will still appear on the general election ballot. The totals were Wendy Bullock, 2,969 voters; Kathryn Whitaker, 2,753; and Gregg Malkovich, 2,675.

Eric Blakey defeated three other opponents to win the Churchill County Commission District 3 seat. He narrowly defeated Rusty Jardine, 1,388 to 1,148 votes. Todd Moretto received 674 votes, and John Caetano, 110 votes.

Blakey has been a resident of Churchill County since 1996.For the past six years, he has been chairman of the Churchill County Planning Commission, serving six plus years. He is also a past member of the Churchill County Youth Softball Association, serving as a board member and president for many years. Blakey is a retired member of the Fallon-Churchill Fire Department with 20 years of service.

Jardine is the retired general manager of the Truckee-Carson Irrigation District.

Eric Blakey


He was also with the Churchill County District Attorney’s office for eight years before becoming TCID’s general manager and legal counsel from 2010-2022. Jardine has a background with water issues, the U.S. Navy mission and the agriculture community.

Todd Moretto grew in in Fallon and attended local schools.

Moretto, a maintenance planner for Kennametal and owner of Auditory Sensations, said the county must preserve its agriculture base with the many farms and ranches dotting the Lahontan Valley. On the other hand, Moretto said he is looking at growth as a necessity and the housing market keeping up with new residents.

John Caetano, the fourth candidate, never submitted a candidate questionnaire, responded to media or attended a candidates’ night.

Carol Del Carlo garnered 2,141 votes in Churchill County for University Board of Regents, District 9. Gary T. Johnson had 1,417 votes.

Sam Brown was leading the Republican field in Churchill for U.S. Senate while Mark Amodei was doing the same for U.S. Representative in Congress, District 2.

This article will be updated with regional and statewide offices.


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