Furlong, Guimont in race for Carson sheriff; Whitten, Clarke advance in Storey sheriff’s race
September 4, 2002
Carson City sheriff candidate Kenny Furlong expected to win enough votes in Tuesday’s primary election to move to the Nov. 5 general election.
What he didn’t expect was that his November challenger would be Bob Guimont.
In an upset victory, Guimont, a Carson City sheriff’s deputy, garnered 2,246 votes — 23.4 percent — to defeat his boss, Chief Deputy Scott Burau, for a chance at the sheriff’s job.
“I’m honored and excited that the citizens chose me along with Ken Furlong to go on to the general,” Guimont said. “As we go onto the general, everyone needs to get involved whether they vote for Ken or me.”
It was one of four hotly contested sheriff’s races in Northern Nevada.
In Storey County, Sheriff Pat Whitten and Tyler Clarke are headed for a runoff. In Washoe County, Sheriff Dennis Balaam moves into the general election against Reno Police Lt. Bill Bowen.
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In Lyon County, where six challengers were vying against incumbent Sheriff Sid Smith, a broken vote-counting machine made results unavailable Tuesday night.
Among the five Carson City candidates, Furlong, who works for the Nevada Division of Investigations, came out well ahead of the pack when early voting results were announced at 7 p.m. Tuesday. At the end of the evening, he received 3,883 votes for 40.5 percent of the primary vote.
“We’ve got a lot of work to do,” Furlong said to the 40 or so people milling about his Northridge home.
Criticized by some community members and other candidates for running not on his qualifications but on his family name, Furlong said he’s proud of his family and has “run my campaign on what I want to do.”
Both Guimont and Furlong committed to making the Carson sheriff’s department more responsive to the community.
Burau, who drew 18.8 percent, or 1,805 votes, said his loss “comes as somewhat of a surprise.”
“It was contrary to the gauge we were drawing as we walked the community,” he said. “The voters have clearly spoken. I still have a job to do until the end of my term and then I will focus my efforts elsewhere.”
Wayne Fazzino, an investigator for the Attorney General’s Office, placed fourth in the sheriff’s race with 1,225 votes, for 12.5 percent of the vote. Richard Mendoza, a detective in the Carson sheriff’s department, received 432 votes for 4.5 percent of the total vote.
“We pretty much figured this is how it would come out,” Mendoza said. “I’m not upset. Basically, I feel that if nothing else, for the next four years I would like to be around to make sure they fulfill their promises.”
Of Carson’s 21,638 voters, 9,731 cast ballots in the primary election — a turnout of 44 percent.
In Storey County, incumbent Pat Whitten took a resounding lead in the sheriff’s race with 529 votes. Tyler Clarke edged out Stephen Bloyd by a narrow margin, 318 votes to Bloyd’s 258. Charles Porchia came in fourth with 99 votes, or 8.2 percent.
Whitten believes the confidence and comfort of the electorate was the primary factor in this showing, but this is no time for complacency. He plans on continuing an aggressive campaign.
“People recognize the job I’ve done,” he said. “I’m grateful to the people of Storey County and I hope to earn their confidence again in November.”
Whitten served in the sheriff’s reserves for four years before making his first bid for sheriff in 1998. He took office in January of 1999, preceded by Sheriff Bob Del Carlo, who held the office for 28 years.
Clarke, 36, said the vote against Whitten was split between Bloyd and himself, and hopes to earn those votes in the coming months.
“I’m going to talk to more people,” he said. “A lot of them are still on the border and want to see change.”
Bloyd said he was not ready to recommend either of the leading candidates, but enjoyed the fight and will probably be back.
“I met so many good people and had a wonderful time,” he said. “Everyone has different concerns. It was a real eye-opener.”