LAUGHLIN– Not only is Nevada considered a swing state in this year’s presidential elections, it’s also an important state when it comes to whether Republicans continue their control over the U.S. Senate. For the first time since 1986, Harry Reid– the current Senate Minority Leader– won’t be on the ballot.
For Laughlin residents, the ballot will be packed from top to bottom as locals will be a part of the decision-making process in several key races, including the town’s first ever election for town advisory board.
The deadline to file for elective office in Nevada ended on Friday (Mar. 18). A total of 18 candidates filed to run to fill the Senate seat that Reid is vacating. Nine of the candidates are Republicans, including incumbent U.S. Rep. Joe Heck and former Reno Assemblywoman Sharon Angle, who lost to Reid in the 2010 election. Four of the candidates are Democrats, including former Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez-Masto. Four more candidates are running as independents and one as a member of the Independent American party.
The race for Nevada’s 3rd Congressional district is just as crowded. With Heck running for the Senate, 15 candidates are running to replace him in congress. The district, which is relatively divided evenly between Republicans and Democrats, encompasses the southern half of Clark County. Seven Republicans, six Democrats, one Independent American and one independent are running. The race includes a few candidates who most Nevadans already know. The include: conservative Assemblywoman Michele Fiore, (R-Henderson), State Senate Majority Leader Michael Roberson, (R-Henderson) and former Dist. 4 congressional candidate Danny Tarkanian, (R-Las Vegas). Also filing for Dist. 3 were: Kerry Bowers, Sami Khal, Andy Mathews, Annette Teijeiro, all as Republicans; Barry Michaels, Jacky Rosen, Jesse Sbaih, Steven Schiffman, Alex Singer, Neil Waite, all as Democrats; Warren Markowitz, of the Independent American party and David Goossen, as an independent.
Laughlin voters will also decide whether their representative in the Nevada State Assembly deserves another term. In 2014, incumbent Assemblywoman Melissa Woodbury, (R-Las Vegas), ran unopposed. This year, she has a primary challenger and the winner will face a Democrat in November. Challenging Woodbury in the June primary election is Swadeep Nigam, of Henderson. He’s a financial analyst for the Las Vegas Valley Water District and a former member of the Nevada Equal Rights Commission. The winner of the primary will face Boulder City resident Gary Jordahl– a Democrat– in the November general election.
Clark County Commission Chairman Steve Sisolak will get to sit out the primary election in June, but he will face a Republican challenger in November. Las Vegas resident Michael Thomas has filed to take on the two-term incumbent.
In the first-ever race for the five seats on the Laughlin Town Advisory Board, eight Laughlin residents filed as candidates, but only one of them is an incumbent. Kathy Ochs, who was appointed to her current seat by the Clark County Commission in 2014, is the only incumbent running this year. Chairman Fred Doten, Vice Chair Pamela Walker and fellow board members Kathy Hoss and David Brownlee have all opted not to seek another term in office.
Those seeking to win a seat on the Laughlin Town Advisory Board include: Stephanie Sue Bethards, David Brunelle, Bruce Henry, Martin Knauss, Gina Mackey, Jim Maniaci, Noreen McBride and Ochs.