Embattled North Las Vegas constable among those seeking re-election

Updated March 5, 2018 - 6:43 pm

Candidate filing opened with a flurry of activity by more than 100 political hopefuls on Monday, setting the stage for contentious primaries in a crucial election year.

Nevada Democratic Rep. Jacky Rosen made her announced U.S. Senate run official, and a Republican primary is set in Nevada’s 2nd Congressional District with filings by incumbent U.S. Rep. Mark Amodei and former Assemblywoman Sharron Angle.

In what’s expected to be a crowded race, former Rep. Cresent Hardy filed late Monday to run for his old seat in Nevada’s 4th Congressional District. Current Rep. Ruben Kihuen is not seeking re-election after he was accused of sexual misconduct. Hardy, a Republican, won the seat in 2014 and held it for one term before he lost to Kihuen in 2016.

In a move that irked Clark County Commissioner Steve Sisolak, North Las Vegas Constable Robert Eliason filed for re-election despite an ongoing fight over whether he is qualified to hold the office.

Eliason, whose employees carry out evictions, serve court papers and can make arrests, has served since 2015 without meeting the requirement to become a state certified law enforcement officer. He sued Clark County in July after county commissioners began discussing whether to declare his office vacant and appoint a replacement. The case is ongoing.

“It’s been shown that he does not meet the qualifications,” Sisolak said. “This has been going on for a long time and resolution is long overdue.”

Attorney General Adam Laxalt, Treasurer Dan Schwartz and county commissioners Chris Giunchigliani and Sisolak have all said they will run for governor, but none of them filed on Monday. But a handful of lesser-known candidates did enter the fray: Democrat Henry Thorns, Republicans Stanleigh “Stan” Lusak and Jared Fisher, and Russell Best of the Independent American Party.

With an eye on the 2019 Legislature, Democrats brought forward a host of candidates — including several newcomers — as the party vies for a possible super majority in the Assembly.

Familiar faces

Former Las Vegas police detective Gordon Martines filed to run for Clark County sheriff, setting up a fourth run for the county’s top cop job.

Martines, who was employed by the Metropolitan Police Department for more than two decades, ran unsuccessfully for sheriff in 2002, 2010 and 2014. He filed for candidacy in 2006 but later withdrew.

Former North Las Vegas police officer Tim Bedwell also filed for candidacy on Monday. Incumbent Sheriff Joe Lombardo has said he will run for re-election, but did not file on Monday.

If all three candidates appear on the June primary ballot, the election could be won before November. Nonpartisan races in Clark County with three or more candidates can be won with more than 50 percent of the vote in the primary.

Surrounded by her husband and supporters, Rosen made official the move to leave her seat in the House to run for U.S. Senate. Incumbent Dean Heller, who’s widely considered the most endangered Republican in the Senate, is expected to see a primary challenge from Danny Tarkanian, although neither candidate filed Monday.

Democrat Jesse Sbaih also filed for candidacy, setting up another primary with Rosen. Sbaih and Rosen squared off in 2016 in the 3rd Congressional District Democratic primary, with Rosen taking 62 percent of that vote.

Democrats mobilize

Assembly Democrats on Monday gathered outside the Clark County government building to announce 19 incumbents would file for re-election and will be joined by six first-time candidates for seats in Clark County and Reno.

“This next cycle is going to be unpredictable,” said Assembly leader Jason Frierson, who also filed for re-election. “But we’ve learned both here and nationally we can’t take anything for granted and we have to work hard for all of our seats.”

Among the new Democrats filing to run for Assembly: Nonprofit executive Michelle Gorelow who was tapped to succeed Democrat Justin Watkins in Assembly District 35; former Department of Taxation Director Deonne Contine, who’s running to replace Democrat Amber Joiner in Assembly District 24; and English teacher Selena Torres, who’s running for an open seat in Assembly District 3 — vacated by Nelson Araujo, who is running for Secretary of State.

Gorelow will face off with Republican David Schoen, who also filed on Monday. “We’re going to be doing a lot of mailers, and I’ll still be knocking door-to-door and doing more community events to get in front of the voters,” Gorelow said.

In Assembly District 29, Republican Stephen Silberkraus filed to run against Democrat Lesley Cohen, who unseated him two years ago. Assemblywoman Brittney Miller in District 5 faces a challenge from Republican Mack Joseph Miller, who filed papers Monday.

Candidates can file until to run until 5 p.m. March 16.

Contact Ramona Giwargis at rgiwargis@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-4538. Follow @RamonaGiwargis on Twitter. Contact Colton Lochhead at clochhead@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-4638. Follow @ColtonLochhead on Twitter.

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