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Candidates gear up for Nov. contest

Wed, Aug 13, 2008 (12:47 a.m.)

Larry Brown wants to take his fiscal shears to the next level.

He cleared the first hurdle on Aug. 12, earning the Democratic nod in the race for the Clark County Commission District C seat.

The 12-year Las Vegas City councilman said he planned to continue his policy of requiring government agencies and departments to justify their spending.

“Their (county) budget is the first place I’ll start. I’m going to transition the fiscal accountability that I’ve done at the city,” he said. “That’s where it all begins and where it all ends.”

Brown will face three-term Assemblywoman Valerie Weber in the general election. Weber leaves her District 5 seat after beating out four other candidates for the Republican nomination for the county position.

While walking the district’s neighborhoods, including Summerlin, Weber said her constituents repeatedly focused on bringing new high-tech jobs to Southern Nevada.

“I believe our message is a strong one that there are solutions to this economy,” Weber said. “We need to fundamentally think differently. This race is not about maintaining the status quo and that’s what my opponent does.”

Brown and Weber are competing to replace Commissioner Chip Maxfield, who did not seek reelection.

Assemblywoman Francis Allen lost her bid for reelection to Richard McArthur, a retired Federal Bureau of Investigation agent. McArthur goes on to face Craig Ballew, the only Democrat to file for the seat.

Allen, in a four-way GOP primary contest for her District 4 seat, faced a felony assault charge during the campaign stemming from a stabbing incident with her husband.

The charge was dismissed in July, but Allen previously said the incident was a campaign issue and she was willing to talk with voters about it. She did not address it in a statement released after the primary.

“First and foremost - I want to thank all of my supporters and friends who have been with me throughout this difficult race. It was a tough campaign, but I managed to stay positive throughout and I’m proud of that. I’m thankful to have had the opportunity to serve my district for four years and I accomplished much of what I set out to do,” she wrote. “I’d like to congratulate my opponent for his victory and wish him luck in the general election.”

Voter turnout in Clark County was about 15 percent of the 697,547 registered voters. That’s down from 168,368, or 27.10 percent, in the 2006 primary and from 148,872, or 25.07 percent, in the 2004 primary.

The general election is Nov. 4. Early voting runs Oct. 18-31.

In one of the most anticipated races, Congressman Jon Porter, R-Boulder City, will try to defend his District 3 seat from state Sen. Dina Titus, D-Henderson. Both won their parties’ nominations easily.

Republican Kenneth Wegner won his party’s nomination in Nevada’s 1st Congressional District. He faces off against incumbent Shelley Berkley, D-Las Vegas, for the second time.

The incumbents’ triumphs disappointed Summerlin resident Rob Etmire, 26, who said earlier that he cast his vote against all incumbents because he believes the issue of storing nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain has been handled poorly.

Etmire is a scientist with a Department of Energy subcontractor and said the current elected officials are basing their beliefs on bad science and bad economics for the area.

“People in my line of work are losing their jobs,” he said. “They’re worried about the issue and not the people.”

As for the polling sites, there were few complaints and people flowed easily through the process. At the Shadow Hills Baptist Church, which hosted six precincts, team leader Jerald Mason said there was a steady flow of voters all day.

“This is my third election cycle and I’d say it’s been par for the course for a primary,” he said.

In other major races:

—Brian Scroggins won the Republican nomination for the District A Clark County Commission seat to face Democrat Steve Sisolak. Incumbent Bruce Woodbury is ineligible to serve again because of term limits.

—Teacher and labor organizer Ron Taylor and longtime volunteer Chris Garvey will advance to the November ballot in the District B race for the Clark County School Board. Incumbent Ruth Johnson was the top vote-getter, but she has been deemed ineligible because of term limits.

—Incumbent Terri Janison advanced to the general election with just over 50 percent of the vote for the District E School Board seat. Metro Police Officer John Schutt, a 10-year veteran of the force, also advanced to the general election.

—School administrator Edward Goldman and parent volunteer Deanna Wright will face off in November for the District A School Board seat. Incumbent Mary Beth Scow received 26 percent of the vote, but was ruled ineligible because of term limits.

Jeff Pope is a reporter for the Home News. He can be reached at 990-2688 or jeff.pope@hbcpub.com.

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