Commission race down to buzzer
Challenger Danny Tarkanian was ahead 17 votes over District 1 County Commissioner Dave Nelson in the final unofficial results released by the Clerk-Treasurer’s Office on Wednesday.
Provisional ballots issued on Election Day and the last of the ballots requiring a signature cure were counted on Wednesday after the Nevada Secretary of State ensured no one double voted.
According to numbers released 4 p.m. Wednesday, Tarkanian received 5,893 votes to Nelson’s 5,876.
Douglas County commissioners are scheduled to canvass the vote 4 p.m Friday.
Clerk-Treasurer Kathy Lewis said she’s bracing for a recount as a result of the election. If the results stand, both commissioner incumbents will have been rejected by voters.
Even if Nelson doesn’t win the recount, his fellow candidates will tip the balance on the Board of Commissioners.
Sunridge resident Walt Nowosad led Johnson Lane resident Nate Tolbert by 527 votes, which in any other election would be considered a relatively narrow lead.
Nowosad received 6,046 votes to Tolbert’s 5,531 for the District 5 commissioner seat now held by Barry Penzel.
Topaz Ranch Estates resident Mark Gardner defeated District 3 County Commissioner Larry Walsh 6,985 to 4,678 votes. Gardner will go on to face Libertarian Charles Holt in the November election. The last commissioner who was not a Republican was Cecil Stodieck in 1946.
Total turnout for the mail-in election was 47.42 percent with 18,187 votes counted on Tuesday.
Among Republicans, the dramatic race for a majority of seats on the Board of County Commissioners resulted in a 57.48 percent turnout, with 11,900 votes cast.
Lewis said they held back some of the cured ballots so as to avoid revealing how anyone voted.
Nevada has a closed primary system in which Republicans vote for their party’s candidates, while Democrats vote for theirs. Unaffiliated and minor party voters cast ballots in nonpartisan races.
That means Douglas County’s significant Republican majority dominates the county commissioners. Nowosad and the winner of the District 1 race will appear alone on the November ballot.
The District 1 race is not the closest in the history of the Douglas County Board of Commissioners.
Sen. Lawrence Jacobsen’s father, Lawrence P. Jacobsen, beat Leo Springmeyer by four votes 335-331 in 1920.
The race has yet to be as close as the 2010 Kingsbury General Improvement District vote that saw candidates Robert McDowell and Natalie Yanish tie at 373 votes each.
Clerk-Treasurer Ted Thran shuffled a deck of cards and Yanish pulled the ace to win over McDowell’s eight.