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Locals file for 2020 election, candidates forum postponed due to Coronavirus

The filing period for the 2020 election cycle is officially closed and the full spectrum of residents who have decided to throw their hats into the political ring is now known, with nearly three dozen locals registering to run for one or more of the 14 offices up for grabs this year in Nye County.

Nye County Commission candidate’s first opportunity to engage with the public in a question-and-answer forum, however, has been postponed and it will come as little surprise to anyone following the outbreak of the novel coronavirus that COVID-19 is the reason for that decision.

County commission candidates

Of the 35 candidates who filed for office, a total of 13 registered to run for a seat on the Nye County Commission.

Nye County Commission District 1 is currently held by Lorinda Wichman, who at the end of 2020 will officially reach the term limit of 12 years and with no incumbent running, the seat is wide open.

Half a dozen residents from across Nye County have entered the race for commission district 1, the largest district within the county. Those registered to run as Republicans include Amargosa Valley resident Trevor Dolby, Beatty resident Richard “Dick” Gardner, Tonopah resident Bruce Jabbour and Round Mountain residents Liandra Dutton and Tim Gamble. The only nonpartisan candidate for district 1 is Darryl James Lackey and no Democratic or third-party candidates have filed.

The race for Nye County Commission District 2 is between just two candidates, both well known in the community. Incumbent John Koenig, who currently sits as the commission’s chairman, will be facing off with former commission district 2 holder Frank Carbone, both of whom are running on the Republican ticket.

Those set to vie over the Nye County Commission District 3 seat include incumbent Donna Cox, who is running for her third and final term as commissioner. She will have to fend off fellow Republican contenders Louis “Louie” James Baker, John Wehrly and KMPV TV news reporter Deanna O’Donnell. Filing for district 3 as as the only non-Republican candidate was Independent American Party member Lance Roy Schaus.

Postponed forum

Pahrump resident Bill Newyear, who is a very active member of the local community, was all set to host another Nye County Commissioner Candidate Forum next week to give contenders the chance to interface with the public and share their platforms and goals but those plans all went down the drain in the name of public health. Newyear said the event has not been canceled altogether but it has been postponed over ever-growing coronavirus concerns.

“We’ll be holding the Nye County Commission Candidates Forum once the CDC says groups of 50 or more can get together again,” Newyear told the Pahrump Valley Times on Monday, March 16. “We want to err on the side of caution.”

Candidates for other local offices

The nonpartisan office of Pahrump justice of the peace, department B, is also up for election this year. Incumbent Kent Jasperson will have just one opponent, Walt Grudzinski. Gerald Butler originally filed to run for justice of the peace as well but he withdrew his candidacy.

For Nye County Treasurer John Prudhont, who was appointed to that position in early 2019, the election process will be a mere formality as not a single candidate registered to run against him this year.

Town board seats in Amargosa, Tonopah and Round Mountain are going to be on the ballot too, but only one of those areas will see a real race this election cycle, that of Amargosa.

Those who filed for one of three seats with four-year terms include John Bosta, Esperanza “Hope” Budd, Richard Claessens, Debbera Mendyk and Morgan Scriven. There is also one two-year unexpired term to be filled and as Andrew Miller was the only candidate to file for that seat, he’s a shoo-in for joining the Amargosa Town Board in 2021.

There are three open Tonopah Town Board seats and exactly three candidates, Marc Grigory, Don Kaminski and Zach Newell, meaning each one will automatically win a seat.

As for Round Mountain, all five of its board seats are up for election but not one person filed to run for those positions.

The Beatty General Improvement District has five open seats as well but only three candidates, so Amina Anderson, Starla Gallagher and Charles Wix will all obtain one of those spots without a struggle.

Anderson was also the only person to register to run for the Beatty Water and Sanitation District, which has four seats up for election.

Gamble will find himself on the Northern Nye County Hospital District Board of Trustees next year, as he was the sole candidate to file for one of the three seats available on that board.

As for the Nye County School District Board of Trustees, Teresa Stoddard was the only candidate to file for Area II so she will retain her spot. Area IV will see incumbent Larry Small against Marjorie Ann Schaus. In Area VI, incumbent Mark Hansen will face Aaron Compton, Oren Hampton and Liese Peterson.

Contact reporter Robin Hebrock at rhebrock@pvtimes.com

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