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Tarkanian rides again, Cresent Hardy joins CD-1 race

Updated March 21, 2022 - 6:41 am

The final day for candidates to file for election has had no shortage of surprises.

In Northern Nevada, Republican Danny Tarkanian, a frequent also-ran, filed in Carson City to run for the 2nd Congressional District seat held by fellow Republican Mark Amodei.

And in Las Vegas, former Rep. Cresent Hardy, a Republican who represented Nevada’s 4th Congressional District for one term, decided to enter the political fray once again, this time for a different seat. Hardy on Friday filed to challenge six-term Democratic Rep. Dina Titus in Nevada’s redrawn and now more competitive 1st Congressional District.

Titus, who has been critical of the redistricting by fellow Democrats in the state Legislature, also officially filed for re-election in Nevada’s 1st Congressional District on Friday.

Tarkanian rides again

Tarkanian was “heading to file his paperwork to represent the people of the Nevada’s 2nd District!” his wife, Amy, said in a noontime tweet. “We’re going to finally show this district what true America First leadership looks like.”

Official confirmation came from the secretary of state’s office about 1:30 p.m.

Tarkanian has lost seven elections, including two Senate and three House races, but has won four primaries dating to 2004. He moved to Douglas County after losing the 2018 race for Congressional District 3, and was elected to the county commission in 2020 by 17 votes.

Amodei, Nevada’s only Republican federal officeholder, was first elected to the seat in a special 2011 election and has won five terms since.

Congressional District 1

Hardy was a last-minute surprise entry into the race for Nevada’s newly drawn 1st district, having last run for election for office in 2018.

In a statement announcing his candidacy, Hardy said he has “unfinished business in Congress.”

“My focus will be on bettering Nevadans’ quality of life by working to create a parent-driven education system, make Nevada more affordable and get our spiraling inflation crisis under control, and return our country to energy independence to bring the cost of gas down,” his statement said.

Hardy represented the 4th Congressional District for one term after defeating Democrat Rep. Steven Horsford in 2014. He ran unsuccessfully for the seat in 2016 and again in 2018.

Titus meanwhile is facing a primary challenge from her left in progressive activist Amy Vilela, who served as the Nevada state co-chair for U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign in 2020. Sanders went on to win the state’s Democratic caucus by a comfortable margin before withdrawing from the Democratic primary.

“Amy Vilela is a socialist. She’s a proud member of the Socialist Democrats of America. I’m the progressive Democrat in the district, always have been,” Titus told reporters after filing. “I think she’ll have a hard time breaking through the support we have of the Democratic Party in the district.”

Asked if she would be willing to debate her primary challenger, Titus said the two sides haven’t discussed it.

“I don’t know if she’ll want to debate me,” Titus said.

In a statement Friday evening responding to Titus’ comments, Vilela said that the race “has never been about which candidate is simply more ‘progressive.’ It’s about the kind of leadership and representation the people of Las Vegas want and need, and voters all across the new First District have a clear choice ahead of them.”

Titus has criticized the redrawing of her district’s boundaries last fall that dramatically shifted the partisan voter makeup of the district that was previously the safest Democratic seat in the state while making the more-competitive 3rd and 4th districts more favorable for Democrats.

But Titus has some familiarity with the newly drawn district, having represented parts of it during her tenure as a state senator and her first term in Congress before lines were redrawn in 2010.

“It’s a new district in terms of what I’ve been running in the last decade. But it’s not new to me,” Titus said.

Local races

The Las Vegas City Council Ward 6 seat drew the most competitors of the city’s three races. The office will be vacated by Councilwoman Michele Fiore, who announced her bid for state treasurer on Thursday in a surprise shift from gubernatorial aspirations.

Seven candidates had filed to replace Fiore by 5 p.m. Friday, according to the city, including former Guinn Center leader Nancy Brune, city Planning Commission Chairman Lou DeSalvio and Metropolitan Police Department homicide Lt. Ray Spencer.

Others seeking to represent far northwest Las Vegas on the council include: Author Luke Anderson, entertainment executive Paul Casey, state radiation control specialist Matt Passalacqua, and caretaker David Dillie, who says that, at 20 years old, he is the youngest candidate ever to run for Las Vegas council.

In the other city district with no incumbent, four candidates filed to succeed term-limited Councilman Stavros Anthony in Ward 4: Former Ward 2 Councilman Bob Beers, community leader Brenda Frank, former Assemblywoman Francis Allen-Palenske and retired Metro Capt. Robert Plummer. Anthony is running for lieutenant governor.

Councilwoman Victoria Seaman is seeking re-election in Ward 2, and she will face off against five others: Pahrump firefighter Alan Bigelow, retired dentist Erika Smith, real estate broker Jeffrey Bradshaw, retired firefighter Mike Tomko, and Ronald McWhorter, whose occupation could not be immediately confirmed.

In Clark County, three Democratic incumbent commissioners filed for re-election as of 5 p.m. Friday: Tick Segerblom, Justin Jones and board chairman Jim Gibson, according to the county.

Unlike the city council, the commission is a partisan body and therefore so are its elections.

In District E, Segerblom is being challenged by Democrat Jacob Macias, whose occupation could not be immediately confirmed. Dennis Ayala, whose occupation also could not be immediately confirmed, and Jonathan Rider, a marketing and customer development employee for the Crazy Horse 3 Gentlemen’s Club, are running as Republicans.

Randy Rose, an Independent American Party member, and Joette Luiz, no party affiliation, also filed to run. Their occupations could not be immediately confirmed.

And on Friday, Marco Hernandez — a Laborers Union Local 872 official who ran a strong race against Segerblom in 2018 in a Democratic primary, filed again this year without a political party.

In District F, Jones was the lone Democrat on the ballot to battle one of four Republicans in November: County Planning Commissioner Jenna Waltho, policy analyst Drew Johnson, retired music publisher and composer John Ovnik, and Mike Campion, a director of branches for a local credit union.

Gibson was the only Democrat to file in the contest for District G. Billy Mitchell, a program manager for the Department of Defense, and Joseph Ludwig, a guest services representative for a luxury day-spa company, filed as Republican candidates. Jesse Welsh, whose occupation could not be immediately confirmed, is running on the Libertarian Party ticket.

And in the Clark County School District race for trustee in District F, incumbent Danielle Ford filed on Friday. She will face nine other candidates in the nonpartisan race.

Contact Colton Lochhead at clochhead@reviewjournal.com. Follow @ColtonLochhead on Twitter. Contact Shea Johnson at sjohnson@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0272. Follow @Shea_LVRJ on Twitter.

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