November 6, 2002
For the first time in nearly four decades, there will be no Dini in the Nevada Assembly.
Joe Dini Jr., who served 36 years in the lower house including eight sessions as speaker, retired this year. His son, George, decided to take up the torch.
But with most of the vote tallied Tuesday night in the four counties within Assembly District 38, former Yerington Mayor Tom Grady, a Republican, was leading by nearly 800 votes.
In Carson City, Republican Ron Knecht won the race for the Assembly District 40 seat by 670 votes over Democrat Stacie Wilke, a school board member.
Knecht replaces Bonnie Parnell, a Democrat who declined to run again, in the district representing the bulk of Carson City and a small part of southern Washoe County.
He collected 7,744 to 7,074 votes between the two counties.
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He congratulated Wilke on “a clean and effective campaign,” saying the two presented voters with a clear choice based on issues including taxation and education.
On taxation, he said Wilke told voters she believed more taxes are needed, while he told them he would only raise levies if absolutely necessary.
“I’m going to work very hard to hold the line on taxes and spending,” he said. “I look forward to justifying the trust the people of Carson and Washoe have put upon me.”
Wilke’s campaign was disrupted by the death of her mother Oct. 23. She said afterward she would continue to be involved in Carson City issues including at the Legislature.
“I’m not going anywhere. I’ve been involved in this community for 30 years and I’m going to continue to be,” she said.
In the District 38 contest, Dini won in Storey County by 95 votes. But that was more than offset by the 449 vote margin Grady had in Carson City.
Churchill and Lyon counties were still tallying the results late Tuesday, but Grady had a 140-vote margin in Churchill, a near 300-vote margin in Lyon and both of them growing as more ballots were counted.
Grady said he was comfortable with the trend.
“We’re hoping that the trend continues the way it is,” he said. “I’m glad both of us kept it a very clean campaign.”
In Assembly District 26, which includes southern Washoe County, Incline Village and the northern portion of Carson City, incumbent Sharron Angle easily defeated Jan Gilbert.
Angle and Gilbert are polar opposites. Angle is one of the Assembly’s most conservative members while Gilbert is one of the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada’s lobbyists pursuing improvements in social, human services programs and education.
Assembly Minority Leader Lynn Hettrick of Gardnerville cruised to an overwhelming 80 percent victory over Independent American Party candidate Jean Voigts. No Democrat filed in the District 39 race.
In the two senate races with voters in Carson City, Republican incumbents Mark Amodei and Randolph Townsend cruised to re-election victories against Independent American Party candidates who put up only minimal opposition.