Knecht, Mackedon to refocus campaigns ahead of regents showdown in November |

Knecht, Mackedon to refocus campaigns ahead of regents showdown in November

Teri Vance

Incumbent Ron Knecht said he plans to sharpen his campaign for the Nevada System of Higher Education’s Board of Regents as he heads into the general election against Michon Mackedon.

“I wasn’t out of the blocks as fast or as intensely as I should have been,” he said. “That will be rectified.”

During Tuesday’s primary election, however, Knecht took more than half of the votes. He received 51.7 percent to Mackedon’s 37 percent. Under state law, the top-two finishers advance to the November general election.

Richard Riendeau, who withdrew from the race but not in time to have his name removed from the ballot, received 10.95 percent.

Mackedon said she has used her connections as a native Nevadan to create small committees in the nine counties covered by the District 9 seat.

“It’s widespread, and it’s deep,” she said of her support. “What I really want to do is look at the primary figures and target my time and resources where I need the most help.”

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Knecht, an economist and policy analyst, said his six years as a regent has given him the experience necessary to continue into the next term, especially in light of recent budget cuts.

“My record’s been set,” he said. “I’m going to continue to push the things I’ve been pushing that I think higher education needs.”

Mackedon, who taught at Western Nevada College for 28 years, argued that it’s time for someone new. She said the amount of money received is not as important as the analysis of where resources should be spent.

“I think there’s a need for a change,” she said. “He comes from a strong financial background, I come from a strong academic background.”

Knecht said that he will continue to fight against increases in taxes and tuition fees and to promote transparency.

Both said they would work to preserve smaller campuses, such as WNC, within the higher education system.