Commission candidates clash at Nye GOP Debate

On Saturday, April 7, the Nye County GOP Debate continued with an entirely new set of political hopefuls in the spotlight. The afternoon began with those Republicans desiring to represent Nye County Commission District 4. The panel included Leo Blundo, Ron Boskovich, Tina Trenner and Walt Turner.

Blundo underscored his status as a business owner, operating Carmelo’s Bistro in Pahrump, and settled squarely on roads as his issue of interest. Blundo told the audience, “I have served as a regional planning commissioner, as a regional transportation commissioner, giving me the in-the-seat experience to be able to serve you as the next Nye County commissioner in District 4… We want to fix and we demand better quality roads here in the county… I believe that working toward a long-term solution to our roads here can improve the quality of life because that is what people are asking for.”

Boskovich detailed a desire to see people come together rather than battling one another. “We have all noticed the changes here, whether it’s the increased population, the increased traffic or the less personal interaction between all those who live here. It is time to bring everybody together to get the things done,” Boskovich proclaimed. “I am not here to throw stones at anyone, that is not what I am about or how I think we get things done. But I… don’t believe bickering back and forth or attacking people’s reputations or anything else is the way to go, especially not when you are seated as the board of county commissioners.”

Trenner, who has 40-plus years’ experience as a host in the radio and television industries, proclaimed herself as an anti-tax, small government candidate. She touched on her run for office in 2016 against Assemblyman James Oscarson, when she beat him for the county vote but ultimately lost the overall primary, which included voters from all of Assembly District 36. “I have a vision of the way our community is supposed to be,” Trenner exclaimed. “I believe in the Constitution my friends… I want you to understand that when I am sitting up on the county board, nothing is going to get done if I don’t believe it is constitutional.”

Turner, whose family has been living in the Pahrump Valley for generations, said he simply thought it was time for him to offer his service to the community. Water was a main point of contention and he blasted the recent decision by the commission to forego filing a lawsuit to put a stop to Nevada State Engineer Order #1293. “I have been on the forefront of this water battle,” Turner stated. “There are better answers than what they passed… Order #1293 was an ill-conceived order… It needs to be stricken… It does not fix our water issues, it is not a conservation act.”

In the race for commission District 5, there is a fifth candidate, Richard Goldstein. However, as Goldstein is registered as a Democrat, he was not included in the Nye GOP Debate.

Commission District 5

Each of the four contenders vying for the District 5 seat also appeared at the Nye GOP Debate, including incumbent Dan Schinhofen, Debra Strickland, Dwight Lilly and Leo Marchetti.

Schinhofen, who has sat as a commissioner for nearly eight years, said he wants to keep marching forward with the many projects currently underway at the county level. “We’ve got a lot of growth started that has taken a lot of years to get to,” Schinhofen said. “Kellogg dog park will be breaking ground soon, the commercial subdivision outside of the raceway, the fairgrounds, the fireworks shooter site… We’ve got a lot of things… that are coming to fruition that I would like to see done, mostly because my four grandchildren all live here and my children are homeowners here. So I have a real reason to see that we have a bright future for all of us.”

Lilly, also a radio show host, asserted that he has been intimately involved in many of the subjects that had been discussed that evening and as such, would be able to immediately jump in and get started addressing those issues. “I am going to have regular town hall meetings where I form focus groups with the constituents in the fifth district and they are going to tell me what their priorities are,” Lilly stated. Water and county finances were two items he said he himself would concentrate on, remarking, “If you don’t have your budget in control, you are going to go out of business.”

Strickland honed in on her business experience with a construction company, well drilling services and real estate, likening herself to President Donald Trump. “You’ve got to ask yourselves, what has been working so well in the U.S. today? That’d be Donald Trump,” Strickland said. “Go ahead and put in office the people who have the experience, your business leaders. And that is what I bring to the table.”

Strickland took the same line as Turner, focusing heavily on her concerns with Order #1293. “How this was done was inappropriate… You can’t take the right of existing landowners,” Strickland asserted

Marchetti outlined his past as a chief executive officer and a corporate treasurer, as well as his ability to speak four languages, his bachelor’s degree and his continual service to the community through volunteering, such as the free Italian class he offers at the Pahrump Community Library. “I have a lot of goals, but my goals will depend on you the constituents,” Marchetti said. “We need to have better organization in what is going on, so people can know about what is going to happen at the commission meetings.”

Contact reporter Robin Hebrock at

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