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County commission candidates laying low days before election

With four days left to go to the general election, two Nye County Commission candidates are laying low as they wait for the results.

Candidate John Koenig has family coming in from out of town this weekend.

Opponent Harley Kulkin has not announced any 11th-hour campaigning or meet-and-greets.

Both men are vying for the District II seat currently occupied by Frank Carbone, who did not seek re-election.

The areas includes Pahrump precincts 9, 21 and 32, which include the northern rural area of town.

Koenig, a Republican, said if elected, his method of governing is superior to that of his Democratic opponent.

He also questioned Kulkin’s leadership abilities when the Democrat was chairman of the now-defunct Pahrump Town Board. During that period, the board was disbanded by voters and county commissioners.

Koenig suggested that Kulkin, as chairman of the board at the time, bears some responsibility for the board’s demise.

“He is still in favor of incorporation and he wants the town board back, but the voters do not,” he said. “He also wants to build ‘Harley World’. Harley and the rest of the town board spent upward of $300,000 just for a report. The voters and commissioners didn’t like that and sent him a message.”

Koenig was referring to a proposal between the town of Pahrump and Los Angeles-based Contour Entertainment for a multi-phase entertainment and tourist destination known as “Adventure Springs.”

The town spent more than $289,000 in areas such as build-out concepts and financial analysis for the project. For their effort, the town received artist’s renderings and reports about the scope and feasibility of Adventure Springs.

Koenig defeated four challengers in the GOP primary, taking 56 percent of the vote, while Kulkin was the only Democrat that registered to run.

Kulkin, a recently-retired businessman, raised more than a few eyebrows after announcing he would not accept the position’s $27,000 annual salary, nor benefits, if elected.

“I will do it absolutely free and at no cost to the county,” he said.

Kulkin also said he will focus on economic development and growth in Pahrump and Nye County.

He moved to the Pahrump Valley more than two decades ago.

At the time, he said the area had “tremendous potential.”

“I’m still waiting to see that,” he said. “I can’t believe that Nye County is the poorest county in Nevada when it shouldn’t be. We have mining and we collect the taxes.”

Kulkin disagreed strongly with his opponent on the issue of incorporation.

His position is that incorporation, he said, would reap huge benefits for the town and residents.

“What it really means,” he said. “The reality is everything within the borders of the town of Pahrump, the town will run it and that’s all.”

Additionally, Kulkin said he would push to re-establish the Pahrump Town Board form of government.

He said he believes county officials did the community a disservice after rejecting a project that he believes would have bolstered the infrastructure within the community.

“When the town board was still in effect, the county turned down a $4.5 million, free sewage plant,” he said. “The town was only responsible for the parks, the cemetery, and the ambulance service. I’ve never heard anyone complain about those things.”

Kulkin ran unsuccessfully for lieutenant governor two years ago.

The Koenig /Kulkin race is the sole contested commission run on the Nov. 8 ballot.

Commissioners Lorinda Wichman and Donna Cox will not face challengers come November, due to their respective primary victories in June.

Though early voting ends today, Election Day voting will run from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., on Tuesday.

Contact reporter Selwyn Harris at sharris@pvtimes.com. On Twitter: @pvtimes

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