Incline Village voters go with incumbents; Secretary of State investigating alleged campaign finance violations | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Incline Village voters go with incumbents; Secretary of State investigating alleged campaign finance violations

INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — A race with the potential to alter the balance of power on the Incline Village General Improvement District Board of Trustees will instead see both incumbents return.

Unofficial results have Kendra Wong and Tim Callicrate returning to the five-member board after what many consider to be the ugliest local campaign in some time.

"In the almost 34 years I've lived here I've never seen such hate and anger and vitriol focused at initially one candidate," Callicrate said.

In particular, Callicrate pointed to True Blue Facts as the primary source of negativity in the race. It started, he added, with attacks directed at him and then expanded to attack Sara Schmitz, a first-time candidate who aligned with Callicrate. The two campaigned as running mates, while Wong and former Trustee Bruce Simonian ran as political allies.

Community members joined Callicarate and Schmitz in calling out True Blue Facts, a DBA formed under the nonprofit Get Out the Vote, for spreading misinformation and favoring Wong and Simonian.

Jim Clark with Get Out the Vote and True Blue Facts has said both entities were formed to inform voters. He denied the allegations that True Blue Facts was acting politically.

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Still, those involved with the group decided last week to forgo appealing complaints filed with the Nevada Secretary of State and instead register as a political action committee, Clark told the Tribune.

They have until mid-November to submit the necessary paperwork.

Similarly, the Secretary of State's Office is investigating campaign finance complaints filed against Wong and Simonian, the Tribune has confirmed.

Wong told the Tribune she intends to file a response to the complaint before the Nov. 13 deadline set by the Secretary of State's Office.

While many of the allegations of political mudslinging have been directed toward True Blue, Wong said it was a much nastier campaign all around when compared to her first run four years ago.

"This campaign started off on a negative foot right off the bat and I think that really did change the tone," she said, attributing some of that to the tone set by Schmitz and others.

Wong said she was hopeful the community can come together after the divisive campaign and address the shared priorities.

"We live in a great place," she said in striking an optimistic tone.

Callicrate said he too is hopeful, but conceded he is still upset about the campaign. Callicrate said he will continue to work on behalf of the community, but those behind True Blue Facts have brought shame to the community, he added before calling for them to leave the community.

"Why should the community be forced to deal with this crap?"

Both he and Wong, though, did find some common ground in the immediate aftermath of the race: they both expressed their gratitude to voters for re-electing them.