I’ve spent several afternoons recently canvassing my old Assembly District recently in Southwest Reno to support several candidates I am anxious to see win their primaries on June 12. I usually walk with my City Councilwoman Jenny Brekhus and enjoy the interesting conversations and debates we have while we’re hunting down addresses in alleys and behind houses in the dense neighborhood, testing our memories on where the primary-voting Democrats live. We’ve encountered constituents who are just now tuning in to the primary, and they’re eager to discuss all the races on their sample ballot. Reno is getting ready to vote.
Early voting started last Saturday and runs through June 8. After that, you’ll have to vote on Election Day, June 12. You’re not likely to run into a crowd on any day, as typically about 23 percent of Nevada’s eligible voters actually go to the polls in the mid-term primaries. That means your vote counts more since those who can’t be bothered with exercising a right people sometimes die for in other countries will defer the decision of who makes it to the general election in November to you.
This year there are some big decisions to be made in the Democratic primaries, particularly for governor, but also in the non-partisan races for supreme court justice, sheriff, and mayors of Reno and Sparks.
In the U.S. Senate race, my choice is Jacky Rosen, a House member representing a Southern Nevada district. She’s smart, rational, capable and sympathetic to the needs of working families. She’ll be a breath of fresh air for Nevadans who are frustrated and angry at the performance of our current senator, Dean Heller, who has greatly disappointed long-term Nevadans who knew a different, more moderate and engaged Heller when he was secretary of state. The senator we see today is truly unrecognizable.
For U.S. House District 2, there are six candidates running for the chance to oppose incumbent Mark Amodei, assuming perennial candidate Sharron Angle doesn’t surge past him. That’s unlikely this year as her appeal to the Republican base seems to have waned considerably. My ballot will be marked for Clint Koble, although he has an uphill battle in a district that has never been represented by a Democrat. It includes much of rural red Nevada, whose citizens are a reliable Republican majority.
This is the best chance in our lifetime to elect a progressive governor. Regular readers know I am a huge Chris Giunchigliani fan, having served with her in the Nevada Assembly for many years. If you care about education, income inequality, affordable housing, fair elections, poverty, mental health, or reproductive rights, get out and vote for Chris G.
For attorney general, the clear choice is current Senate Democratic floor leader Aaron Ford. We can thank Sen. Ford for forcing the resignation of a serial sexual harasser, former Senator Mark Manendo, who tormented young women in the Legislature for several decades. Ford has shown he has the courage and smarts to take action, and that’s the kind of attorney general Nevada needs.
The most contentious legislative primary in Reno is Assembly District 24 where four Democrats are vying for the seat. The legislator here will actually be elected on June 12 since no other party fielded a candidate. The law that allows this disenfranchisement of voters must be overturned, a position taken by my favored candidate, Tom Stewart, who is married to a Reno High School teacher and has lived in the district 37 years. His nickname as the Mayor of Wells Avenue refers to his organizing skills in support of small businesses on Wells, where he owns and operates his own retail shop, Truckee Meadows Herbs.
The choice is up to you. Consider your vote carefully, and make it count.