Governor’s race: deja vu |

Governor’s race: deja vu

Geoff Dornan, Appeal Capitol Bureau
Secratary of State Dean Heller, left, shakes the hand of John Lee as Lee finishes filing for the office of State Controller monday afternoon. Candidate filing ended monday evening. Photo by Brian Corley

Unable to find a major candidate to face Kenny Guinn, the Democrats have essentially ceded the mansion to the GOP for another four years.

State Sen. Joe Neal, D-North Las Vegas, put his name back in the ring as he did four years ago, as did relative unknown Barbara Scott, who has homes in Las Vegas and Gardnerville.

Scott and Neal were both eliminated in the primary four years ago by then-Las Vegas Mayor Jan Jones. This year, one of the two will meet him in the general.

A total of 16 candidates put their names in for governor as filing closed — seven Republicans and five Democrats, one Green Party, one Independent American and one Libertarian.

Lt. Gov. Lorraine Hunt found herself with a strong Democratic opponent as Clark County Commissioner Erin Kenney filed at the last minute. She has both fund raising ability and wide name recognition in Southern Nevada.

Treasurer Brian Krolicki also got a familiar opponent as former Treasurer Ken Santor filed after changing his party affiliation to Democrat.

The controller’s race heated up as Assemblyman John Lee, D-Las Vegas, filed against incumbent Kathy Augustine. There are two others in that race as well.

And Secretary of State Dean Heller has four opponents.

in addition, Rep. Jim Gibbons, R- Nev., has a Democratic opponent. Travis Souza of Reno filed, saying he wants to mobilize young voters to participate in the election because he doesn’t believe Gibbons is responsive to younger voters and their needs.

The final day of filing was as busy as the first day of filing with 18 candidates filling out paperwork at the Secretary of State’s Office.

Altogether, 97 candidates filed for statewide of multi-county office with the Secretary of State.

Among those filing for governor Monday was retired environmental engineer Charles Laws as a Green Party candidate.

Laws, 69, said he is committed to stopping nuclear waste from coming to Nevada. He was arrested at the gates of the Nevada Test Site earlier this month along with other activists from the Green Party.

He said he will work for sustainable development, improved education and an empowered public if elected.

“Sensitive planning is essential for the American state with a history of the most dramatic boom and bust economy and vulnerable resources,” he said.

Laws said in addition to the danger of Yucca Mountain, water in the Humboldt and Walker rivers is over appropriated and wells in the Truckee Meadows are beginning to dry up.

“Air in Reno and Las Vegas grows dirtier while Walker Lake dies,” he said pledging to overhaul the state agencies responsible for addressing those issues.

Asked if the state needs more tax revenue to address its problems, he said, “I’m afraid that’s where we’re headed.”

He said Nevada’s tourist based economy is particularly vulnerable.

“We haven’t paid attention to the fact that we need to prepare for these turns in the economy,” he said. “We over extended ourselves based on faith in the economy.”