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NYE COUNTY VOTES: Primary results will settle many local races this election season

Nye County voters are narrowing down their candidates ahead of this year’s general election. On Tuesday, voters cast ballots for a number of local races including the county commission and school board.

Nye County leans red — more than 18,000 voters are registered Republican out of roughly 25,000 voters in the county, according to the Nye County clerk’s office data. And for several local races where the Democrats have not presented a challenger this year, the Republican primary will decide who gets into office.

“The primaries are the final elections, specifically for the local ones — I can’t express how important these are,” said Leo Blundo, chairman of the Nye County Republican Central Committee. “What’s at stake is accessibility to local officials; when you have a pothole that doesn’t get fixed, people deserve answers.”

Results for the races are still being tallied and must be canvassed by the county commission by June 21.

A couple of hours before polls closed at 7 p.m. on Tuesday there were 1,092 votes and 6,494 mail-in or dropped-off ballots, according to the Nye County clerk’s office.

The Nye County Republican Central Committee endorsed their candidates for the 2024 primary in late May, after they went through an interview and questionnaire with the candidates. For Republicans voting in the primary the committee endorsed former President Donald Trump for president, Tony Grady for U.S Senate and David Flippo to replace current U.S. House (D-Nev.) congressman Steven Horsford.

On a more local level, the committee endorsed Bill Hockstedler to replace outgoing Republican Nevada senator Pete Goicoechea. John Ellison, previously the assemblyman for District 33 since 2016, is also in the race. The committee endorsed Gregory Hafen II for Assembly District 36, and Bert Gurr for Assembly District 33.

At the Nye County Commission level, Donna Cox and Frank Carbone are stepping down from their positions as commissioners from districts 3 and 2. The committee would like to replace Carbone’s spot with either Salli Kerr or John Koenig. For District 3, the committee endorsed Tamie Pitman. And for District 1, they would like to see Bruce Jabbour stay as a Nye County commissioner.

In Nye County, there are over 7,000 voters registered as Democrats. The Nye County Nevada Democrats declined to speak with the Pahrump Valley Times when they requested comment.

Who was at the polls

New Pahrump residents Todd and Launa Shatz were voting in the local elections after moving here from Hawaii. One of their top issues was the rising cost of living.

“Five dozen eggs is $40, a gallon of milk is $12 — we actually got priced out of Paradise,” Todd Shatz said, recalling the high costs of living in Hawaii.

In the over 100 degree heat, state Senate candidate Bill Hocketedler, of Pahrump, was walking around to talk to voters.

“If I should be fortunate enough to win, the decisions will be made tonight who will be the next state senator for District 19 because there is no Democrat or Independent running,” Hockstedler said. “Our race will be over with, we go straight to the general and there is no one else to vote for.”

Voter Randell Saltzman, of Pahrump, says he was reluctant to vote for U.S. Senate candidate Sam Brown, but after weighing the candidates out, he decided that the only one that could defeat the Democrats was him.

“Sam Brown was not my first choice, but I voted for him,” Saltzman said. “It’s tough to do but I want my vote to count.”

When asked about ranked-choice voting, a ballot question in the November election that would incorporate a ranked voting system, Saltzman said he would not support this initiative.

Contact Jimmy Romo at jromo@pvtimes.com. Follow @JimmyRomo.News on Instagram.

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