By ED VOGEL
CARSON CITY — Nevada Supreme Court Justices Ron Parraguirre and James Hardesty received free rides to re-election Friday when no one filed to challenge them.
While they will not be formally elected to their second, six-year terms until the November election results are certified after the election, Hardesty and Parraguirre only need one vote to win.
Voters will be able to cast ballots for the “none of these candidates” option, but that is only a protest vote and does not count even if more people select that option than vote for the candidates.
“Dick Bryan (former governor and U.S. senator) said it best,” Parraguirre said. “He said ‘There are two ways to run, scared and unopposed.’ I have done both. I like unopposed better.”
Parraguirre, now the chief justice, said running without opposition will allow him and Hardesty to concentrate on the business of the court, not running for office.
“I am really happy to have the opportunity to get re-elected and serve my state,” Hardesty added.
Hardesty hoped that the reason he and Parraguirre did not draw opponents was “because most of the legal community felt we were doing a good job.”
“Both of us have worked very hard since we have been on the bench,” he said.
It is not unusual for justice candidates to win election without opponents.
In 1998, three of the four Supreme Court seats were filled by candidates who had no opponents.
And in 1986 and 1990, both incumbent justices won re-election without opposition.
Because Parraguirre and Hardesty have no opposition, they will not solicit campaign contributions under a rule approved by the court.