Attorney general says two on school boards face term limits

CARSON CITY — Two more local school trustees faced challenges Thursday from Nevada’s top election official in a move that could trigger a court battle over the state’s voter-approved term limits.

Secretary of State Ross Miller challenged John McKenna, running for re-election to a school board seat in Carson City, and Todd Plimpton, seeking re-election to a school board seat in Pershing County.

In both cases, Miller said the trustees will have served 12 years by year’s end and under term limits written into the Nevada Constitution a decade ago can’t serve any longer.

That’s the same argument Miller raised in a challenge Wednesday of Jonnie Pullman, who also will have served 12 years in her Washoe County school trustee post.

A Nevada Legislative Counsel Bureau opinion has concluded that for purposes of term limits state legislators’ first terms began with the election of 1998 rather than 1996. Pullman, elected for the first time in 1996, said that opinion should apply to her.

If the case winds up in court, it could move quickly to the Nevada Supreme Court. That’s what many term-limited officials up for re-election this year would like to see, especially if they aren’t directly involved.

Two dozen legislators, including Senate Majority Leader Bill Raggio, R-Reno, and Assembly Speaker Barbara Buckley, D-Las Vegas, face final races this year or were re-elected for what could be the last time in 2006.

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