Nevada Day goes political |

Nevada Day goes political

Teri Vance
Nevada Appeal Staff Writer
BRAD HORN/Nevada Appeal

On a day that began with presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain running an 8K together, there was sure to be plenty of politics mixing with pleasure at the annual Nevada Day parade.

Mother and son running mates Deb and Blayke Olson from Minden donned masks representing the presidential hopefuls and crossed the finish line together.

Outside the annual chili feed organized by Lt. Governor Brian Krolicki, Bonnie Parnell and John Wagner stopped to chat. It wasn’t an unusual sight, as many people were huddled together in and around the Carson Nugget on Saturday.

What may have made it a little more unusual, however, was that the two are both vying for the Nevada Assembly District 40 seat.

Wagner spent the morning marching in the parade campaigning and handing out literature for the Independent Party, on whose ticket he is running.

“The parade was wet, cold, miserable and fun,” Wagner said. “I had a lot of fun. A lot of people already voted, but it’s still good.”

Parnell, the incumbent, didn’t walk in the parade.

Instead, she wandered through the crowd from Red’s Old 395 to the north end of town.

“We just walked up and down and said ‘hi’ to old friends,” she said. “We prefer to do it that way. You can be more social. I know so many people and former students here.”

Rep. Dean Heller, R-Nev., who commutes to Washington, D.C., was back in his hometown for the Nevada Day celebration.

“Since I was about 3, 4, 5, I’ve been at this parade,” he said.

For the last 20, he and his family have been entrants, and he was not daunted by this year’s rain and wind .

“It’s beautiful fall Nevada weather,” he said.

He was there with his wife, Lynne, who is recovering from an ankle injury after falling from a horse on Sept. 24.

“It doesn’t hurt any more, it’s just annoying,” she said. “It’s tough to get around. But I substitute-taught school all last week.”

The surprise of the day came when vice presidential hopeful Sarah Palin’s parents, Sally and Chuck Pete, and her in-laws, Jim and Faye Palin, made an appearance at the chili feed.

Sally Pete said they had a good time at the parade and celebration

“It’s terrific,” she said. “We love this all-American patriotism. “It’s down-home goodness.”

– Contact reporter Teri Vance at or 881-1272.