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Oesterle not running for Nevada Supreme Court

The rumors that Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Nancy Oesterle will run for the Nevada Supreme Court are false. When the Friday deadline passes, she said will not have filed for any judicial office. After 20 years on the bench, she’s retiring. Sort of.

“I really think it’s time for me to make a change and there are so many opportunities for me to look into,” she said Wednesday.

While interested in the Supreme Court, Oesterle said she had too much respect for the two incumbents running for reelection — Justices Jim Hardesty and Ron Parraguirre — to run against either of them.

She hopes to be considered for senior judge status, meaning she could step in and substitute for any justice of the peace in Nevada. Television programs are “not out of the realm of possibilities.” For 15 years, she was the co-host of a show she created, “Law For the Layman.”

Other options: Spending more time in California with her boyfriend, working as a mediator, maybe write a book and “just enjoy life a little bit.”

She’ll definitely continue her work with a program called “Keys to the Courthouse” which introduces elementary school students to the criminal justice system.

Oesterle, 53, was appointed to the court in December 1990 and never drew a challenger. Before becoming a judge, she was a prosecutor with the Clark County district attorney’s office.

“I was the first female ever appointed to the Las Vegas Justice Court bench. Now they have seven women and five men,” she said. “The work load has increased since 20 years ago but the hours of the day have not.”

Three eulogies she delivered in the past year have contributed to her decision. One was for attorney James “Bucky” Buchanan. Another was for a girlfriend’s husband who battled cancer. And the third was the son of her father’s best friend, a diabetic who died at the age 31. The increasing stress of her job is one of her concerns.

“Life is short. Everybody says it, but it’s true,” Oesterle said.

The civic-minded, high-energy Oesterle is one of the judges I didn’t mind being unopposed.

Too bad I can’t say that about all of the judges who, as of Wednesday, were getting a free ride to re-election.

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