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Clerk candidates differ little on issues during town hall debate

Updated April 26, 2022 - 9:16 am

The April 14 debate between Nye County clerk candidates Mark Kampf, Ian Bayne and Andrew Caccavalle did not provide the fireworks that some audience members were expecting. The three candidates agreed on almost half of the 17 questions posed by moderators.

The debates were part of a three-night series designed to let the voting public hear from candidates on one stage.

Hosted by former and current Nye County Republican Central Committee Chairmen Joe Burdzinski and Bill Carns, the candidates were questioned by KPVM-TV’s Deanna O’Donnell and Pahrump Valley Times/Tonopah Times-Bonanza and Goldfield News Editor Brent Schanding.

All three candidates for clerk favored paper ballots, providing ID before voting and allowing only U.S. citizens the opportunity to vote. Each candidate said they believed absentee voting had been abused in the past. They were all opposed to moving the county seat from Tonopah to Pahrump, mass mail-in ballots, and open primaries. All three emphatically agreed that Donald Trump won the 2020 election.

When asked about their qualifications for the office, Bayne cited his Army training, along with his background as a small business owner. He was also a law student.

Caccavalle spoke of his experience with the New York Police Department. Since Jan. 15, he has had a team of former peace officers investigating voter fraud.

Kampf has been a certified public accountant, a comptroller and forensic auditor. He has also met with the current clerk four times to understand internal controls.

The candidates were asked what changes they would bring to the clerk’s office.

Bayne said he would launch a training program for election workers. Kampf would eliminate voting machines and clean up the voter rolls.

On the subject of insuring that candidates are qualified for the office they are seeking, Bayne said that officials are not doing their jobs while Caccavalle talked about the sheriff’s race. Kampf would be proactive in verifying qualifications.

The one area in which the candidates differed significantly was the subject of early voting. Caccavalle was for it; Bayne was against it; Kampf was in favor of a one-day national holiday on which people would vote.

Even though the candidates were offered rebuttal time, Kampf was the only one to take advantage when he stated that Caccavalle had broken election laws by erecting campaign signs before the allowable date and putting them on road signs.

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