Election:2016: Carson City candidates file on opening day
Assembly District 40
Carson City Mayor
Supervisor Ward 2
Supervisor Ward 4
School Board District 2
School Board District 7
P.K. O’Neill filed Monday for his second term in the Nevada Assembly.
But he has already been challenged by former Carson City Treasurer Al Kramer and is expecting, at least, two other challengers in the Republican primary for the District 40 seat representing Carson City and south Washoe Valley.
He said the 2015 Legislature was a successful session, enacting numerous reforms from construction to education funding. He also pointed out that all five bills he introduced were enacted into law, “a unique feat for a first-time legislator.”
That list includes improvements to the prevailing wage law he said have already helped Carson City in bids for local street repairs.
O’Neill was sharply criticized by some Republicans for his vote in favor of Gov. Brian Sandoval’s tax package. O’Neill said he stands by his vote to improve funding for K-12 education in Nevada.
Kramer, currentlyw a chief deputy in the state Treasurer’s Office, was Carson Treasurer for 20 years. He said his thrust is creating jobs in Nevada.
“We’ve got to make Nevada more business friendly to attract more employers,” Kramer said.
He said that is less about such things as subsidies as it is about a stable business and tax climate.
“It’s business stability, knowing what the rules are and are going to be,” Kramer said. “The commerce tax threw a lot of variables in.”
Kramer also said the legislature must find a way to pump more money into the state’s community colleges — including Western Nevada College in Carson City.
Also, Republicans Jim Wheeler of Douglas County and John Ellison of Elko County filed for re-election on Monday, the opening day of candidate filing this cycle.
Wheeler, seeking a third-term in District 39, said he is concerned about the potential increase in the state’s cost to support Medicaid, overall the largest single state budget at more than $5 billion. The problem is the federal match for that program is declining as Nevada’s economy recovers, forcing the state to shoulder more of the burden.
“I’m not seeing a whole lot of appetite for new taxes,” he said.
The district covers Douglas, Storey and part of Lyon counties.
Wheeler said net metering for solar customers also will be an issue this next session. The PUC decision to reduce what solar customers get has proven highly controversial.
Ellison, seeking fourth-term representing the four counties in District 33, said the budget, as usual, is the big question but that he is also watching public lands issues. Much, he said, depends on the outcome of the presidential race.
In Carson City, incumbents up for re-election this cycle all filed Monday morning. Mayor Bob Crowell is seeking a third term in that post while Supervisors Brad Bonkowski and Jim Shirk are both seeking a second term in office.
Maurice White, a long-time community activist, filed to run against Bonkowski in Ward 2.
Shirk will face John Barrette, a retired newspaper reporter, who filed his candidacy in the Ward 4 contest.
Gayle Robertson, who was appointed Carson Treasurer to fill out Kramer’s term, filed seeking the office in her own right.
In addition, Laurel Crossman filed for re-election to the Carson City School Board in District 2 and Board President Joe Cacioppo filed for re-election in District 7.
Rep. Mark Amodei is scheduled to file for another term in the House on Thursday. But he already has challengers. Rick Shepherd filed early Monday and Chip Evans, a Democrat who already has Sen. Harry Reid’s endorsement, Monday afternoon.
No Democrat has ever won a seat on Nevada’s Congressional District 2.
Like Amodei, the major candidates this season are scheduled to file later in the week including Democrat Catherine Cortez Masto and Republican Rep. Joe Heck, who are vying to succeed Harry Reid in the U.S. Senate.
That race has already drawn tow other candidates: perennial candidate Edward Hamilton and D’Nese Davis of Las Vegas.
The filing period runs until March 18.
The primary election is scheduled for June 14. The general election is set for Nov. 8.