County prepares for Tuesday’s primary election |

County prepares for Tuesday’s primary election

Steve Ranson
Norm Frey

After two weeks of early voting, voters will have only two more opportunities to cast votes for the primary election.

Today is the final day of early voting at the Churchill County Administration building’s Commission Chambers (8 a.m.-6 p.m.), and for those who did not take advantage of short lines, the primary election is Tuesday at the Fallon Convention Center from 7 a.m.-7 p.m.

Erin Montalvo of the Churchill County Clerk’s/Treasurer’s Office said the early voting turnout is about 11 percent. Through Wednesday, 1,372 residents have either cast votes or sent in absentee ballots.

“The number of votes is a little more than in 2008,” Montalvo said, citing that 1,164 voted in the early election.

According to Montalvo, the lack of “heated” primary races usually causes a decline in the number of people participating in early voting.

The only local race with a primary is Assembly District 38 between former Churchill County Commissioner Norm Frey and Smith Valley physician, Dr. Robin Titus.

Statewide for the Democrats, primary elections are for governor, Congressional District 2 and lieutenant governor. For the Republicans, primaries are being held for lieutenant governor, govenor, and controller.

For Churchill County residents, the primary for AD 38 pits two staunch Republicans vying for Tom Grady’s seat. Grady, the former Yerington mayor, is termed out and cannot run again.

Frey, a fourth-generation Nevadan who operates the 900-acre family farm west of Fallon, served as Churchill County Commissioner before he was termed out in 2012. Frey is well known in the state for his work in preserving Nevada’s water resources.

Under Frey’s leadership, he has been active in the development of Churchill County’s water and wastewater systems, a new juvenile justice facility, improved airport, improved roads and a new community gymnasium.

Frey has also served as president of the Nevada Association of Counties. Through his work with Churchill County and NACO, he has been successful on projects to obtain and retain geothermal revenues for 31 western communities to include Churchill County, the second largest geothermal-producing county in the United States.

He was also on the NACO team that was successful in working with Nevada’s congressional delegation to secure full funding of Payment In Lieu of Taxes (PILT). This work resulted in an additional $140 million going to 1,850 public lands counties — $7 million to Nevada counties in 2014.

Frey also serves on the Board of Directors for Central Nevada Regional Water Authority. He and his wife, Sue, were presented with the 2009 Andy Aldax Award by the Carson Water Subconservancy District for conservation and preservation efforts on the Carson River in western Nevada.

Titus said the Assembly eat is one in which she has been interested for years. Titus uses Nevada’s economy as an example of “putting all its eggs in one basket” when the recession hit in 2008, helping to rank the Silver State at the top of national unemployment and foreclosure statistics.

“The economic value of Lyon County and Churchill County is not respected in this state. As a rural person, I think I can help them have a strong voice,” she said. “We bring real money — the ranchers, farmers, miners — that does not receive the respect we’d like to have.”

Titus sees the battle between Clark and Washoe Counties as the two largest counties in Nevada over “getting their fair share.”

“I don’t want the rural counties to be ‘fly over counties.’ Clark and Washoe counties have to know how important we are and how far we go in holding this state together. I understand what Clark and Washoe counties want, but they cannot ignore the rurals. So many times the rurals are totally ignored.”

Titus said she is realistic about what she can get done and how to get it done.

She received a Doctorate of Medicine from the University of Nevada School of Medicine in May of 1981 and took over the practice of Dr. Mary Fulstone in 1984. And, now, she has practiced for more than 30 years.

Titus, who makes house calls, also covers the emergency room at the Yerington hospital while continuing to serve as Lyon County’s health officer.