State Senate candidate gets Nevada Supreme Court victory
The Nevada Supreme Court issued an order late Friday staying the district court order disqualifying Gary Schmidt as a candidate in state Senate District 16.
The order comes just a day before the start of early voting Saturday but, for Schmidt, it means there will not be signs at every polling place in the district stating he can’t hold the office.
“This appeal raises significant legal questions with statewide implications,” the order states.
The court set 30 minutes of oral argument in the case for July 9.
Schmidt is in the Republican primary facing incumbent state Sen. Ben Kieckhefer, who initially challenged Schmidt’s residency saying he doesn’t live at the Reindeer Lodge half way up the Mt. Rose Highway because that building was essentially destroyed by huge amounts of heavy, wet snow that collapsed its roof a year ago.
Carson District Judge James Wilson agreed and disqualified Schmidt after pointing out Schmidt admitted he wasn’t living there at the moment. Wilson also took note of the fact Schmidt had put the property up for sale.
Schmidt said he has had trouble getting contractors to rebuild the property because of the building boom in Reno but he intends to do so. He also said he has since rented a place in the district to live and therefore qualifies as a District 16 resident. The district represents Carson City and south Washoe County as well as Incline Village.
Schmidt ran against Kieckhefer four years ago as well, losing in the primary 67 to 33 percent.
If Kieckhefer wins by that type of margin in the June 12 primary, the issue will be moot except the high court is concerned with the significance of the issues raised.