Nevada’s 2002 election season officially opens |

Nevada’s 2002 election season officially opens

Brendan Riley, The Associated Press

CARSON CITY — Nearly 20 Nevada candidates, including Rep. Jim Gibbons and state Controller Kathy Augustine, showed up Monday at the secretary of state’s office to file for office on the first day possible.

Besides Gibbons and Augustine, both Republicans, other first-day filers in Carson City included GOP Assemblymen John Marvel of Battle Mountain and Lynn Hettrick of Gardnerville; and state Sen. Mark Amodei, R-Carson City.

Also filing were long-shot gubernatorial candidates Bruce Westcott and Stanleigh Lusak, both Republicans. Incumbent GOP Gov. Kenny Guinn plans to file for a second term Tuesday.

The big Nevada race would seem to be Guinn’s bid for a second four-year term as governor. With well over $2 million in the bank, he’s ready for serious challengers — but so far, Nevada Democrats haven’t fielded a major opponent.

By the time filing closes May 20, scores of candidates will have filed to run for governor, Nevada’s three House seats, 53 legislative slots, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, treasurer, controller, attorney general, and two Nevada Supreme Court seats.

The outcome of Nevada’s House contests, including a new one the state got because of its huge population growth, could figure in the national battle between Democrats and Republicans for control of Congress.

But Gibbons predicted in filing for a fourth two-year term that the state’s new Dist. 3 House seat would be won by Republican Jon Porter, who faces Democrat Dario Herrera.

Gibbons also said Republicans should easily retain control of the House, picking up five to 10 seats around the country.

In Gibbons’ Dist. 2 race, he’s expected to face Democrat Tierney Cahill — who he beat by a 2-to-1 margin in the 2000 elections. He’s already donating funds to other Republican candidates.

In the Dist. 1 race, Democratic incumbent Rep. Shelley Berkley of Las Vegas is ahead in funding and in organization in her re-election bid. She’s being challenged by Republican Lynette Boggs McDonald, a member of the Las Vegas City Council.

In the 2002 elections, Nevadans will elect all 42 members of the state Assembly and 11 members of the 21-seat state Senate — balloting that will determine whether the GOP maintains control of the Senate and Democrats retain power in the Assembly.

There are eight statewide ballot questions so far, and at least one will be controversial — Question 2, a carry-over from the 2000 elections, that would impose a constitutional ban on gay marriages.

Nevadans also will determine the outcome of four university system regent races and four state Board of Education contests.

And there are many other races around the state for offices ranging from District Court judgeships to various local commission or board seats. Several incumbent judges filed Monday, including Michael Griffin and Bill Maddox of Carson City, Archie Blake of Yerington, Jerry Sullivan of Winnemucca and David Huff of Fallon.

In the Supreme Court contests, there’s one open seat because Justice Cliff Young has decided against seeking a fourth term. Young, 79, will have completed 18 years on the state’s highest court when his current term ends and a new justice takes the oath of office in January 2003.

In the second Supreme Court race, Chief Justice Bill Maupin is seeking re-election to another six-year term.

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