More than two dozen file on opening day for 2010 elections
More than two dozen candidates filed for office with the Secretary of State Monday as filing for the 2010 elections opened.
The list included several front-runners in major races including Republicans Brian Sandoval for governor and Sue Lowden for U.S. Senate.
Filing is open through March 12.
Sandoval, who faces a tough primary challenge against incumbent Gov. Jim Gibbons, said he would not have supported the increased mining taxes proposed by Gibbons. Those revenues were cut from the final plan, replaced by the unanticipated increase in Net Proceeds of Mines revenue coming to the state because of booming gold prices.
Asked how he will deal with a potential shortfall of more than $3 billion going into the 2011 Legislative session, Sandoval said he doesn’t think it’s a good idea to spell out exact solutions now when the economic situation next year isn’t clear.
“I’m hopeful things will get better,” he said.
He said, however, it would be prudent for all parties to begin working on ideas to solve the budget crisis now. He said he has made several proposals including further cuts to state government and borrowing against future revenues to the unclaimed property fund.
Sandoval said he opposes gay marriage but would have supported the domestic partnership bill. He said he would at least meet with proponents of a tax on Nevada’s legal brothels if elected, but made no commitment.
He also said he continues to support the death penalty. Sandoval, when attorney general, witnessed one execution, saying if he was going to argue for the death penalty, he should have first-hand knowledge what happens.
In addition to attorney general, he has served in the Assembly, as head of the Nevada Gaming Commission and a U.S. district judge – a post he resigned to run for governor.
Lowden, the front-running GOP candidate in a field of more than 12 vying for the right to challenge Reid, said the most recent poll has her 17 points up on the next contender, Danny Tarkanian, and 13 points up on Reid.
She said if Reid is so powerful for Nevada, “why for every dollar we give to Washington we are getting 65 cents back?” She said she would fight for legal changes to create more jobs in Nevada including cutting the payroll tax, the corporate tax and the capital gains tax.
She is a former state senator and head of the Republican Party.
Reno Republican Sharron Angle also filed for the Senate seat held by Democrat Harry Reid, as did Edward Hamilton, Cecilia Stern and Robert X. Leeds – all of Las Vegas.
Republican Congressman Dean Heller filed for his third term in Congressional District 2. He drew two challengers Monday – Independent American Russell Best and Republican Patrick Colletti.
Four incumbent constitutional officers filed for re-election: Secretary of State Ross Miller, Treasurer Kate Marshall, Controller Kim Wallin and Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto – all Democrats.
That leaves just Gibbons, who says he will seek re-election as governor, and Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki to put their names in the hopper.
Several of them drew opposition. Republicans Barry Herr of Las Vegas filed for controller and Jacob Hafter for attorney general.
Bob Goodman filed for lieutenant governor.
James Settelmeyer of Gardnerville made his move to jump from Douglas County assemblyman to the Capital District Senate seat, filing for the office being vacated by Mark Amodei.
Republican Kelly Kite filed for his District 39 Assembly seat.
The Assembly District 40 seat being vacated by Democrat Bonnie Parnell drew two early contenders – Republican Amy Clemmens and Carson Supervisor Robin Williamson, a Democrat.
Reid drew a challenger for the U.S. Democratic Senate primary – Frederick Conquest of Las Vegas.
Democrat Gary Schmidt and incumbent Republican Assemblyman Don Gustavson both filed for the Washoe Senate 2 seat being vacated by Maurice Washington.
Other candidates filing Monday were Kevin Melcher seeking a seat on the Board of Regents and John Ellison, a Republican running in Assembly District 33, which is centered on Elko. Incumbent John Carpenter, like Washington, Amodei and several other incumbents, is termed out.
In addition, the Independent American Party filed a slate of 35 candidates, promising to add nominees in several more races later.
Gary Gladwill, also a Republican, filed in District 38. He is challenging fellow Republican Tom Grady for the seat.