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Post-primary: 2 commission seats decided

The Nevada primary is meant to narrow down party selections ahead of the November general election, but for some local races, Nye County voters voiced their final decisions on Tuesday.

Both contested Nye County Commission seats were decided after this week’s primary, when Joe Koenig won District 2 with 44 percent of the votes and Ian Bayne won District 3 with 33 percent of the vote.

Michele Fiore also came out on top to retain her Pahrump justice of the peace, department B seat for two more years, capturing 56 percent of the total vote in the nonpartisan race.

Combined with early voting, absentee ballots and day-of voters, there were fewer than 10,000 votes in Nye County, according to the Nevada Secretary of State’s office. This represents about a third of the 31,715 registered voters here.

Commission races

Both commission races were decided by about 40 percent of eligible voters in the valley.

District 3 which includes central Pahrump and contains the town’s largest employers and commercial growth area will now be represented by Bayne, a Republican, who faces no Democratic challenger in November.

“It feels good, but it’s really not about me,” Bayne said to the Pahrump Valley Times after winning his primary election. “It’s about preserving what we have here and changing the culture that is corrupt.”

One of Bayne’s big stances for his campaign was to put an end to corruption at the county level. He said he plans to set a precedent of behaving ethically in positions of power. He aims to investigate corruption, be honest and be transparent.

“Government is a necessary evil, it’s not something that is naturally transparent,” he said. “Someone has to make it transparent.”

Bayne cited that three local officials in the past three years who were convicted of ethics charges and he believes, “We have a big problem here.”

Growth in the town is also one of Bayne’s concerns.

“If Pahrump grows, I can’t control that one way or another,” Bayne said. “I will do everything possible to preserve our western culture and traditional values.”

Bayne rejects making the town more urban, but says he would like to see more restaurants in Pahrump Valley.

“I would love to see an Applebee’s or a Chili’s,” he said.

He would also support a Trader Joe’s and any affordable housing project that is not densely populated.

Koenig, a former Nye County commissioner, who also won his District 2 Republican primary race on Tuesday and faces no Democratic challenger in November, says he’ll help manage the town’s growth responsibly.

“You put the right thing, at the right place, at the right time. I want to protect the rural lifestyle we have here in District 2,” he said. “The growth is gonna come, and we just have to put it where it should be rather where [investors] want it to be.”

District 2 is in the northern part of Pahrump where Koenig and his neighbors want to keep it rural. He’d prefer if growth is directed at the southern end of town.

“We need to go shopping down on the southern end of the town,” Koenig said. “That’s where a majority of the people live.”

After the diesel tax question on the primary ballot in Nye County received an overwhelming rejection, Koenig would like to ask for federal funding to fix the roads. He’d also look at the county’s finances and the animal shelter.

Koenig says he hardly got any sleep after the primary as he stayed up to monitor the results, but after he gets some rest he’ll be working on resolutions before he takes office next year.

Statewide results

Statewide results favored Republican U.S Senate candidate Sam Brown. He received nearly 60 percent of the votes in the party, after former President Donald J. Trump endorsed the candidate in a rally in Las Vegas days before the primary. Brown will face off against Democrat incumbent Jacky Rosen in November’s general election.

Former North Las Vegas Mayor John Lee won in his Republican primary race for the District 4 U.S Congress representative position that looks over towns including Pahrump and Tonopah and the city of North Las Vegas. Lee will be up against Democrat incumbent Steven Horsford, who recently gave the town of Pahrump a check for road repairs, secured funds for a civic center and funding for a day care center in Tonopah.

The Senate District 19 seat, which covers seven counties, was decided on Tuesday night when former assemblyman John Ellison won six of those counties. Ellison was against Bill Hockstedler, of Pahrump, who won in Nye County by more than 200 votes.

Republican watch party

The Nye County Republican Central Committee endorsed many local candidates for the Nevada primary election, but only Koenig and a few candidates without competitors won.

After the ballot locations around Pahrump closed, Republicans met at the Nye County Republican Central Committee Headquarters for a watch party with roughly 13 people, including Hockstedler and candidate Tamie Pitman.

As the results started to trickle in around 8 p.m., attendees were starting to worry about what was to come in the final batch, but by 10:30 p.m. attendees called it a night. Both candidates lost their races.

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

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