Robert “Butch” Dole, who previously ran for Nye County Commission and even governor of California, has filed to run for public administrator in the 2014 election, while Albert “Nick” Bradshaw IV became the second candidate from Tonopah to file for countywide office, the assessor position.
Dole ran for governor of California in the recall election of Gov. Gray Davis in 2003, winning 273 votes and taking 132nd place in the crowded field. He earned his 15 minutes of fame appearing on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno along with other gubernatorial candidates. In 2008 he ran for District 3 commissioner, winning 122 votes, 20.07 percent of the total, in a race won by Gary Hollis.
A native of Menominee, Wis., Dole served in the U.S. Marine Corps for 13 years, then worked as a field service technician for a semiconductor company in Massachusetts. He moved to San Jose, Calif. in 1986 where he ran a small package delivery service shipping silicon wafers to semiconductor companies.
Dole has been a Pahrump resident for 10 years, where he is a slot technician for Golden Gaming Inc. He initially filed to run for public administrator, then withdrew, then rescinded his withdrawal.
“At first I was going to go for county assessor, but then so many jumped in that was something I didn’t want to get involved in,” Dole said.
Residents told him about the public administrator position and he began researching the statutes. Dole said he couldn’t understand why the public administrator wasn’t a paid position — they receive a percentage of the estates they handle — which he said opened the door to more questions. He’d like to find out what they do with other people’s property. Local government officials couldn’t tell him where there was a storage facility for the goods.
“It was more like a volunteer thing, but you would get voted in. I got cold feet so I pulled out. I started looking into it and talked to more people and got back in,” Dole said. “There’s several things involved in this type of job and it’s honesty, integrity, responsibility and discretion.”
Dole took note of a Pahrump Valley Times article that there were 44 open cases currently being handled by the public administrator’s office.
“If I get elected the first thing I’m going to do is ask why we got so many cases backed up and get them taken care of. If I was a relative, I would want that taken care of. I did that with my mother’s estate and my brother’s estate and took care of both of them in two weeks,” he said.
Asked why he has the qualifications, Dole said, “I’ve been a manager type for a long time. I mean the military trained me to be a leader and a manager and after I got out of the military and went into civilian life. I also owned my own business. I think I’m an honest person, hopefully that will help me out.”
Bob Pilkington, owner of My Paralegal, who also filed to run, accused the public administrator’s office of fleecing the estates of decedents. Deputy Public Administrator Robin Dorand-Rudolf, the third candidate, defended the way they handle the job. Dole said he didn’t have an opinion on Pilkington’s comments.
“I’d like to start off with a clean slate. The thing to do is once you get there, we find out what’s going on and see if we can clean this up, that’s all,” Dole said.
Bradshaw is a Tonopah native and 1982 graduate of Tonopah High School. He was an appraiser for Assessor Bernie Merlino in 1989-90. Bradshaw said he was sent by the county to take state courses in Carson City, where he boasted he had the highest score in the class. At that time, the late Fifth District Court Judge Bill Beko urged him to run for assessor, Bradshaw said.
That was followed by eight years working with disabled clients, as a hands-on helper for a physical therapist for non-ambulatory patients at a facility in Santa Rosa, Calif. He was also an instructor of the developmentally disabled in a program called “Becoming Independent.”
Bradshaw returned to Tonopah in 1998 and has held various jobs, working at Scolari’s Supermarket, the Tonopah Auto and Truck Plaza, a shop attendant at Ford Motor Company, helping rebuild the Mizpah Hotel, a custodian at the post office, security guard at the Crescent Dunes solar plant and now a dishwasher. He formerly taught Bible studies at the Tonopah Conservation Camp and hopes to resume that.
“I know how the system works. As an appraiser I understand what happens to be done, all the different sections to a five-year cycle, five-year appraisals. I did Amargosa Valley and Tonopah when I was there,” Bradshaw said.
Bradshaw said he doesn’t have anything negative to say about incumbent assessor Shirley Matson. He’s brushing up on Nevada Revised Statutes Chapter 261 and Chapter 262 which deal with the assessor’s job.
Bradshaw is the fifth candidate to seek the county assessor job. Other candidates besides Matson include Richard Marshall, Leo Blundo and Sheree Stringer. The assessor job is important to everybody, Bradshaw said.
“The more property we have on the tax rolls the larger tax base we have and the less taxes everybody is going to pay,” he said. “When we caught up, get all property and improvements on the tax rolls, that’s our main role, that’s our main job.”
Bradshaw said it’s not important if he comes from Tonopah.
“It’s good to have representation from all over the county. It’s the integrity of the person in the office that matters the most. It doesn’t matter if they’re from Tonopah or Pahrump, if they do a fair job for everybody,” Bradshaw said. “(Former commissioner) Joni Eastley says Pahrump and Tonopah aren’t in competition, we’re sister cities, we’re going to do what’s best for the county. Pahrump and Tonopah should always work together, never oppose each other.”