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Stakes high as Election Day approaches in Nevada

Updated October 19, 2018 - 7:00 am

With the 2018 general election arriving, political hopefuls across the state are once again gearing up for campaign season, with all the traditional yard and roadside signs, advertisements and door-to-door connections that accompany the election process.

On Saturday, Oct. 20 early voting will open, continuing until Friday, Nov. 2. Election Day is set for Tuesday, Nov. 6 and Nye County residents must make their decision on a wide array of candidates.

Shocker changes nature of Assembly race

One of the races drawing the most interest in 2018 has undoubtedly been the battle for Nevada Assembly District 36, a contest that has even drawn national attention. In the Republican primary, candidate Dennis Hof managed to unseat incumbent James Oscarson. Hof was marching toward the general to face Democrat Lesia Romanov but he unexpectedly passed away on Oct. 16.

Due to the election laws, Hof’s name will still appear on the ballot. If he manages to secure a post-death win, the two-year term he would be set to enter will have to be filled by an appointment made by the county commissions of Nye, Clark and Lincoln counties, the three counties that make up District 36.

Nye County races

Several Nye County-specific offices are up for grabs this election season, with Democrats, Republicans and Independent American Party candidates taking a shot at securing one of the many partisan offices available.

Nye County Commission District 4 is currently represented by commissioner Butch Borasky but term limits mean this seat is set to see a new face in 2019. Voters will have to choose between Republican Leo Blundo and Democrat Richard Goldstein.

Nye County District Attorney Angela Bello was unseated in this year’s Republican primary, losing to Chris Arabia. Arabia now heads to the general election to square off with Democrat Nicholas Del Vecchio for the spot as Nye County’s top attorney.

Longtime Nye County Clerk Sam Merlino, a Republican, is hoping to secure another term this November but she will have to fend off Independent American Party candidate Sheila Winn in order to retain her seat.

The Nye County assessor’s race also has an incumbent in Republican Sheree Stringer. Battling against her for the win in the general is Nye County Independent American Party Chairman Andy Alberti.

Nye County treasurer was a seat filled by a Nye County Commission appointee, Pam Webster, until Oct. 2.

She took over in January, after having retired as Nye County manager, and then decided to run for official election. Running as a Republican, Webster was set to face Lance Roy Schaus of the Independent American Party. However, she has resigned and though her name will appear on the ballot, Webster will not be taking over the treasurer’s office in 2019 even if she wins the general election.

Finally, Nye County recorder will be decided by the 2018 general election as well. Incumbent Republican Deborah Beatty is being challenged by Independent American Party candidate Michael Noyes.

On the nonpartisan side of the election, Nye County sheriff and Pahrump justice of the peace are at the will of the voters as well.

Nye County Sheriff Sharon Wehrly is seeking her second term but she faces a tough opponent in a former Nye County sheriff, Tony DeMeo. These two received the highest percentages of the vote in the primary election in a pool of 10 total candidates, with 33.43 percent for Wehrly and 28.71 percent for DeMeo. As such, they are now pitted against one another in the general.

Pahrump justice of the peace is sought by former Nye County Commissioner Frank Carbone and local attorney Lisa Chamlee. Chamlee blew past all five other contenders in the nonpartisan primary, taking more than 47 percent of the vote. Carbone trailed Chamlee with the second highest vote total at 24.42 percent.

State races

Nye County voters will also play their part in selecting the next representatives for a variety of state seats in addition to Assembly District 36.

Nevada Assembly District 32 is up for election as well, with Republican Alexis Hansen squaring off with Democrat Paula Povilaitis.

Nevada’s gubernatorial race includes Democrat Steve Sisolak, Republican Adam Laxalt, Independent American Russell Best and Libertarian Jared Lord. Ryan Bundy of the famed Nevada ranching family has joined the political fray as well, registering to run for governor under no political party.

Republican Michael Roberson, currently serving State Senate District 20, Democrat Kate Marshall, a former state treasurer, Independent American Janine Hansen and Ed Uehling of no political party are the four candidates voters will choose from for the seat of Nevada lieutenant governor.

Secretary of State incumbent Barbara Cegavske must fend off Democrat Nelson Araujo to keep her post for another four-year term.

State treasurer is between Democrat Zach Conine, Republican Bob Beers and Independent American Bill Hoge.

Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt is seeking the seat of Nevada governor and as such, his office is wide open in the general election. The Republican nomination went to former Assemblyman Wes Duncan and Democrat Aaron Ford, a current state senator, who prevailed in the Democratic primary. The two face Independent American Joel Hansen in the race for AG.

State controller is being vied over by Republican Ron Knecht, the incumbent, and Democrat Catherine Byrne.

Federal races

United States senator has a pool of five for voters to decide between, including several third-party candidates. Incumbent Republican Dean Heller is in a hotly-contested fight with Democrat Jackie Rosen. Independent American Kamau Bakari, Libertarian Tim Hagan and Barry Michaels of no political party are each hoping to sway voters their way in order to secure the office of senator.

Congressional District 4 is being contested over by six candidates. Taking the Republican nomination is former congressman Cresent Hardy while Steven Horsford, another former congressman, snagged the Democratic nomination. Rodney Smith and Dean McGonigle, each of no political party, along with Libertarian Gregg Luckner and Independent American Warren Ross Markowitz, are also vying for the congressional seat.

Contact reporter Robin Hebrock at rhebrock@pvtimes.com

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