County manager debate previews 2024 campaign

By this time next year early voting in the 2024 primary will already be underway.

Anyone who thinks it’s too early to talk about what that primary will look like isn’t paying attention to the undercurrent that we’re sure will come into full view during the discussion of the county manager’s replacement.

The county manager is the commissioners’ only employee.

The only two people up for the job on Thursday are Assistant County Manager Jenifer Davidson and Chief Financial Officer Terri Willoughby.

But we expect former Nevada Controller Ron Knecht will be proposed by the opposition during public comment.

With three county commissioner seats up for election next year, including those held by Chairman Mark Gardner, Walt Nowosad and Danny Tarkanian, there’s already a lot of speculation as to who’s going to run for what.

Former County Commissioner Dave Nelson is expected to make a run for one of the seats, but with a tendency to move to seek a favorable seat, he could pop up anywhere.

Nowosad is playing his cards close to the vest. There’s nothing stopping him from seeking another term.

That election calculus should raise concerns for either of the two frontrunners for county manager on Thursday. Even if three commissioners approve a candidate, a change in just one vote could spell a lot of trouble.

To be clear, we haven’t the faintest clue what next year’s campaign will look like. One very near certainty is that the majority of the county board will be resolved in the Republican primary in 2024. That could make a big difference in the county manager’s job starting Jan. 1, 2025.


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