Nevada voters decide legislative contests |

Nevada voters decide legislative contests

With most of the votes in District 40 counted, Sheila Ward appeared headed for victory over John Wagner on Tuesday night.

Final numbers in Carson City gave Ward a 330-vote edge with 2,292 to 1,962. And although only partial returns were in for the small portion of Washoe County included in District 40, Ward held a 168-128 vote lead there as well.

Wagner is best known as an anti-tax protester who supports the Beers Tax and Spending Control initiative. He said he ran because he has found people in the capital city “feel they’re not really being represented well enough.”

Ward is a former Carson School Board member who was forced to resign after she moved out of her district. But she said her focus is still on public education which, she said, is wasting too much money without getting good enough results.

“I want to restore solid education for our children and bring in more diverse businesses, restore the business climate so business can prosper,” she said during the campaign.

Ward said she would like to see merit pay for teachers based on student progress and more accountability in the classroom.

She said that also means more authority for teachers to get the job done.

She will face Democrat Bonnie Parnell who is seeking her fourth term representing the district and is regarded as the favorite in the race despite the fact Republicans hold a solid registration advantage.

“I’m probably going to have to get in high gear real fast,” Ward said.

• Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at or 687-8750.