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Nye’s Tina Trenner files election complaint

Former Nye County Commission District 4 candidate Tina Trenner has filed a formal complaint against primary election winner Leo Blundo, alleging multiple violations of the law.

Trenner is accusing Blundo of electioneering within 100 feet of a polling place and sending out a series of prerecorded “robo-calls” the day of the 2018 primary election, in conflict with Nevada Revised Statute 293 and Federal Communications Commission rule 47 CFR 64.1200. She also alleges that Blundo was “stalking” her and photographing her and others during the campaign season.

When contacted for comment on Trenner’s myriad accusations, Blundo said he was simply doing a favor for a local resident in need of assistance. “I was asked by a 72-year-old disabled Vietnam veteran, walker bound, for a ride to the community center. I delivered him to the door, he voted and I took him home,” Blundo stated.

The complaint was originally made with the Nye County Sheriff’s Office under case #18NY-2054 but it was reported as handed along to the Nevada secretary of state’s office. “The complaint was submitted to a sheriff’s detective, who took the complaint, made no further investigation and submitted to the Nevada secretary of state for her consideration,” Nye County Sheriff Sharon Wehrly stated when asked for confirmation on the situation.

Trenner said to the best of her knowledge, that is where the issue remains, awaiting investigation by the secretary of state. A request for confirmation from that office that the matter would in fact undergo investigation was not answered by deadline.

According to Trenner’s claims, “Blundo was seen at the polling place talking to voters, hugging them, shaking hands, patting shoulders. He was right at the door and sometimes approximately 25 feet away. He was seen there four hours one day. He was right up to the door and once inside. He told different stories to different people when called out on being there. He would tell some he was in voting and others he was using the bathroom. We had bathrooms outside, 100 feet from the polls, which all the other candidates used. And how many times can you vote?”

Trenner also detailed points at which she alleges Blundo was seen photographing her while she was campaigning and visiting with fellow candidates. She documented witnesses to this alleged action as well as witnesses of the reported “robo-calls.”

As for witnesses of the alleged electioneering, she said one was Ron Boskovich, who had also been a candidate for Nye County Commission District 4. Boskovich confirmed that he filed a statement in conjunction with Trenner’s complaint stating that he had seen Blundo on both June 8 and June 12 speaking with voters within 100 feet of the polling place, along with numerous other allegations. He also provided a video of Blundo in which Blundo appears to be helping an elderly person into their vehicle directly in front of the polling location while voting was underway. Boskovich said he filed a separate intimidation and stalking complaint against Blundo as well.

Boskovich further stated that he had asked Nye County Clerk Sam Merlino to look into the situation. Merlino concurred that Boskovich had contacted her and that, when stepping out to investigate, she did not see Blundo near the polling place.

“I take every electioneering complaint seriously… I do recall receiving a text from Mr. Boskovich that Mr. Blundo was electioneering during the voting process. As soon as I was done helping the voters I had in line I went out to find Mr. Blundo to give him a warning. Unfortunately, Mr. Blundo was nowhere to be found on the premises,” Merlino stated of her involvement in the situation. “I periodically checked outside the doors and never witnessed Mr. Blundo electioneering or campaigning. Mr. Blundo did bring in a voter in a wheelchair to vote on election day and I told him to remove himself from inside the Bob Ruud while the gentleman was voting and then he could come back to assist him to his car when he was done. Unfortunately, this is a problem every election.”

Nye County District Attorney Angela Bello was reportedly involved as well, with Trenner noting that a gentleman had approached Bello to inquire whether she was an officer of the court and to ask her to address the matter on June 12.

Bello, on the other hand, denied such an occurrence. Upon a request for comment, Bello stated, “I do not recall anyone claiming he (Blundo) was seen multiple times violating the 100-foot separation rule and asking me to do something about it. I recall there having been some talk about him having at one point gone past the separation point to assist someone, whom as best I can recall, was said to be a handicapped person.”

Blundo concluded that his attention is not focused on the complaint but on the coming election. “I’ve commended my primary opponents on their efforts and am now focusing on the general election. As they say, ‘No good deed goes unpunished.’ As we move on, I look forward to the community coming together while addressing the issues of water, roads and maintaining our rural identity here in Pahrump and Nye County,” he stated.

In the 2018 Republican Primary, Blundo faced off with Trenner, Boskovich and Walt Turner in the closest Nye County race of the year. He narrowly edged out Trenner, beating her by just eight votes. He is now set to continue to the general election to battle with Democratic District 4 candidate Richard Goldstein.

Contact reporter Robin Hebrock at rhebrock@pvtimes.com

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