Letters to the editor for Saturday, May 26, 2018
May 25, 2018
Schmidt's campaign should move forward
The Nevada State Supreme Court will soon hear a case brought by supporters of State Sen. Ben Kieckhefer against conservative Republican candidate Gary Schmidt. Kieckhefer is seeking to have his opponent disqualified based on the Nevada law that specifies candidate eligibility rules.
Schmidt meets the requirements of the current Nevada law in order to be eligible to run for office here. He, in fact, was Kieckhefer's opponent in the last election.
It is worthy of note that Kieckhefer, as a state senator, has had ample opportunity to strengthen the candidate eligibility laws, but had no interest in this facet of the law, until he saw an opportunity to use the courts in order to eliminate his opponent in the upcoming primary. My preference is to allow Schmidt's campaign to go forward. However, this case highlights the need to change the candidate eligibility criteria.
My recommendation is that the law be changed to require all candidates demonstrate that their primary residence, as shown on their federal tax returns, has been in the particular district where they seek office for a minimum of five years.
In the interest of fairness, I hope the Nevada Supreme Court will rule in Schmidt's favor, since he clearly meets the criteria stipulated under the current Nevada law.
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In the case of political candidates, the court should tend to rule in favor of improving choices available to voters.
Let the voters decide who they want to serve as their next state senator!
J. Tyler Ballance
Editor's Note: The Nevada State Supreme Court ruled late Friday that Schmidt can continue his campaign. This letter was sent to the Nevada Appeal on Thursday.