Close races and high turnout in Douglas County |

Close races and high turnout in Douglas County

by Sheila Gardner and Susie Vasquez

With more than 92 percent turnout, voters in Douglas County kept Commission Chairman Kelly Kite waiting until the last minute to learn whether he would keep his job.

With all precincts reporting, Kite received a 192-vote victory over challenger Edie Webber. Kite had 10,545 votes to Webber’s 10,353.

In the tight county commission race that may be a referendum on growth in Douglas County, early and absentee returns gave a slight lead to Webber. However, as votes cast on Tuesday were tallied, Kite recovered and took the lead.

In District 3, Republican Doug Johnson had 13,576 votes, compared with 7,105 for Democrat Jane Foraker-Thompson and 1,464 votes for Independent American candidate Sam Dupuis.

Commissioner James Baushke was unopposed in District 1.

Lynn Hettrick, Republican incumbent for Assembly District 39, had 14,113 votes, compared with independent Randy Green with 8,392.

In the race for Douglas County school board, incumbent Loren Orr had 9,215 votes, compared to 8,602 for challenger Ron Beck in Area 1.

Cynthia Trigg was leading Lawrence Howell in Area 3 with 9,870 votes to 8,298.

In Area 5, Teri Jamin had 10,479 votes, compared to 7,698 for Eric Eakin.

Polls closed at 7 p.m., and the results for early and absentee voting and eight of 39 precincts had been counted by 8:30 p.m. Final results were filed at 11:20 p.m.

“Things went very smoothly,” said Douglas County Clerk-Treasurer Barbara Reed. “We had a very good turnout.”

She said lines moved quickly and there were a few glitches with touch-screen voting machines and printers in the county’s 39 precincts. Reed was pleased with the process.

“There was nothing major,” she said.

Residents voting at the Gardnerville Fire Station said they were happy the campaign was over.

“I thought it was nasty,” said Georgia Schroth of Gardnerville. “Way too much overkill. That made the decision tough.”

She declined to say whom she supported, but said she didn’t make her choice until she entered the voting booth.

Nate Pennington said residents were inundated with election advertising because Nevada was a swing state.

He said he supported John Kerry and thought the campaign was fair.

“(President) Bush had four years to prove what he could do,” Pennington said. “That’s why we are where we are. I think we need a change.”

Joe Thurston, a veteran, said the campaign focused too much on the candidates’ military records and the fight against terrorism.

“Not enough time was spent on the domestic issues. At some point, the campaign should have moved above and beyond that,” Thurston said.