Friday’s the day of ‘free rides’ for some Nevada judicial candidates

CARSON CITY — Friday is the day when Nevada Supreme Court Justices Mark Gibbons and Kris Pickering and 34 of the 52 district judges in Clark County watch the clock and find it difficult to concentrate on their work.

If by the 5 p.m. deadline they do not receive challengers to their re-election bids, they will gain “free rides,” automatic re-election victories, in the Nov. 4 election.

Since the first day of filing for judicial seats Jan. 6 when almost every incumbent filed for re-election, only a few candidates have filed each day. Filing picked up Thursday when 12 Nevadans filed for district judge seats, including one who dropped out of one race and then filed for another.

That was Chris Rasmussen, who dropped out of the Department 11 race against incumbent Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez. Rasmussen then filed to oppose incumbent Department 31 Judge Joanna Kisher.

Others who filed Thursday were:

— John G. Watkins and Bill Skupa both filed as candidates for the Department 2 seat against Phung Jefferson and Richard Scotti. They are seeking the seat now filled by retiring Judge Valorie Vega.

—Craig Friedberg filed against incumbent Judge Stefany Miley in Department 23.

—Joe Hardy filed in Department 24 against Jim Crockett and Tony Liker. They seek the seat held by retiring Judge James Bixler. Hardy is son of state Sen. Joe Hardy, R-Boulder City.

—Susan Bush filed against incumbent Department 28 Judge Ron Israel.

—Ellen Bezian filed to oppose Kristine Brewer, Jane Femiano and Linda Marquis in the race for Family Court Department B. They seek the seat held by retiring Judge Gloria O’Malley.

—John Howard Jr. filed to oppose Rebecca Burton, Lynn Hughes, Marsha Kimble-Simms, Michele Mercer and incumbent Judge Steven Jones in the race for Family Court Department C.

—Travis Shelter filed against incumbent Judge Charles Hoskin in Family Court Department E.

—James Stuart filed to challenge incumbent Judge Bill Potter in the race for Family Court Department M.

—David Ford and Nathan Gibbons filed against incumbent Judge Sandra Pomrenze in Family Court Department P.

Contact Capital Bureau Chief Ed Vogel at or 775-687-3901. Follow him on Twitter at @edisonvogel.