Stage set for 2020 Douglas races
Election filing closed on Friday with a last minute basket before the buzzer when Danny Tarkanian signed up for Douglas County Commission District 1.
Tarkanian filed against Commissioner Dave Nelson, who is seeking re-election to the seat that represents the Gardnerville Ranchos.
A recent arrival to Douglas County, Tarkanian is a household name in Las Vegas, where his father coached the UNLV Rebels to a national championship.
“My family and I moved to Douglas County because it reminded us of Clark County 45 years ago,” Tarkanian said in a statement issued on Friday. “We wanted our children to grow up with the same opportunities generations before them have had in the great state of Nevada.”
Tarkanian said he has been approached by Douglas residents concerned about the tenor and functionality of the current commission.
He cited last year’s altercation between Commission Chairman Barry Penzel and Commissioner John Engels as one of the reasons for concern. Penzel did not file for a third term. Engels is not up for election this term.
With Friday’s filing that means every Douglas County commissioner seat will be contested in the June Republican primary.
Because of Douglas County’s substantial Republican majority, partisan races are resolved in the general election. Libertarian Charles Holt filed in the race between Republicans District 3 Commissioner Larry Walsh and challenger Mark Gardner. Holt will face whoever wins in the November General Election.
On Friday, Clerk-Treasurer Kathy Lewis said she believed more people filed for election this year than in 2018.
Two of the four Douglas County School Board seats up for election this term are contested.
North Valley residents Tony Magnotta and Yvonne Wagstaff are vying for Karen Chessell’s Area 1 seat. Zephry Cove residents Larry Sidney and Doug Englekirk will compete for the Area 3 seat currently held by Lake Tahoe resident Keith Byer. That election will be resolved in November.
On Thursday, Minden resident Michael Somers filed against East Fork Fire Protection District 5 trustee Steven Mihelic. John Bellona is challenging recently appointed District 1 trustee Terry Faff.
Four candidates filed for three seats Tahoe-Douglas Fire Protection District including 2018 commission candidate Janet Murphy and husband Michael. They will face district trustees Greg Felton and Larry Schussel.
Three candidates have filed for the district that governs Douglas County’s largest single community, the Gardnerville Ranchos.
James McKalip, Darby Baligad and Robert McDowell are vying for two seats on the Ranchos’ general improvement district board.
Improvement districts manage several of Douglas County’s largest communities.
Five candidates filed for two seats on the Indian Hills General Improvement District, including Dale Dunham, Anthony Rivano, Russ Siegman, Gennady Stolyarov II, and Teri Gray.
Four candidates filed for two seats on the Minden-Gardnerville Sanitation District, including incumbent Barbara Smallwood and former incumbent Ray Wilson. Also seeking a seat on the board are Timothy Bunting and Seth Altamirano.
The Murphys also filed for seats on the Round Hills General Improvement District, challenging Zephyr Cove residents Gregg Rossi and Darin Smith.
Skyland General Improvement District at Lake Tahoe had the distinction of drawing the largest number of candidates with nine filing for five seats on the board.
Kevin Lavo, John Peel, Jeffrey Wright, Dennis Berry, Jonathan Herwig, Dana Englekirk, Mark Koffman, Richard Nice and Larry Sidney filed for seats on the board.
Eight residents filed for three seats on the Topaz Ranch Estates General Improvement District board, which will appear on the primary ballot.
George Barber, Gerald Clark, Sharon Ferris, Amber Carrillo, Dave Akola, Jerry Taylor Steve Mitchell and Frank Fanto are all seeking a seat on the board.
All of the district boards are nonpartisan races. Those appearing on the primary ballot will only eliminate one or two candidates.
Candidates have until March 24 to remove their names from the ballot.