Incumbent victory was the Election Day theme in races for seats on the Board of Regents for the Nevada System of Higher Education, with one exception.
Mark Doubrava, 47, an ophthalmologist, considered himself the underdog in his District 7 race against incumbent and former state senator Ray Rawson. So Doubrava was pleased to find himself with 53 percent of the vote compared to Rawson’s 47 percent.
He credited his edge to having support within the university system — Doubrava has degrees from both the University of Nevada, Reno, and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He said he ran an aggressive campaign in the district that represents Summerlin and west Clark County.
“We worked hard,” Doubrava said Tuesday night. “I would like to see the lead continue.”
Incumbents in three other races for Regent seats that represent areas of Clark County fared better than Rawson.
In District 13, James Dean Leavitt, 48, a lawyer and the chairman of the Board of Regents, won with 67 percent of the vote compared to 33 percent for Joe Pitts, 54, a retired firefighter. The district covers southwest Clark County.
“It’s a relief,” Leavitt said. “It feels good to get back to work.”
Leavitt has publicly called for raising taxes to support higher education, but he did not interpret his wide margin of support as a mandate for increasing taxes.
“You know what? That’s really up to the Legislature,” Leavitt said. He said what’s important is to have a tax structure that makes the state’s universities “an economic engine” for Nevada.
Andrea Anderson, 65, a retired college administrator who was appointed to the board in 2009, beat, Mark Newburn, 51, a software company store owner, with 58 percent of the vote compared to his 42 percent. They were competing for District 12, which covers Boulder City, Mesquite and Moapa Valley.
Kevin Page, 45, a financial manager appointed to the board in 2009, kept his District 3 seat, which covers central and southern parts of Clark County. He had 56 percent of the vote compared to 44 percent for Ken Lange, 56, former executive director of the Nevada State Education Association, which represents public school teachers.
Contact reporter James Haug at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-374-7419