EDITORIAL: Don’t vote for unqualified candidates

Voters can expect bad consequences if they elect bad candidates. Bad decisions. Bad policy. And in some cases, entire government offices turned upside down.

Tuesday’s election provides voters with a number of clear choices between qualified and unqualified candidates for office. The Review-Journal editorial board has provided the following endorsements:

The position of lieutenant governor exists for only two reasons: to assume the governor’s responsibilities if he is away or incapacitated, and to replace the governor if he resigns or is otherwise unable to complete his term. Therefore, citizens must vote for lieutenant governor based on whether a candidate is qualified to be governor.

Republican Mark Hutchison is qualified to be governor. The 51-year-old state senator from Las Vegas has practiced law for more than 20 years, built a successful business, served on the Ethics Commission and worked across the aisle in the Legislature. His Democratic opponent, Lucy Flores, is not qualified to be governor. The 35-year-old, two-term assemblywoman from Las Vegas has practiced law for three years and is so rigidly partisan that she was rated worst member of the Assembly last year in a Review-Journal poll of lawmakers, lobbyists and media. The Review-Journal endorses Mark Hutchison for lieutenant governor.

The campaigns for Assembly Districts 10 and 34 feature a pair of completely unqualified candidates — the Democrats in each race were ruled ineligible for office by a judge because they didn’t live in the districts when they filed to run. Voters should not support carpetbagging lawbreakers such as Meghan Smith in District 34 and Jesse “Jake” Holder in District 10. The Review-Journal endorses Republican business owners Shelly Shelton in Assembly District 10 and Victoria Seaman in District 34.

To serve as a constable in the Las Vegas Valley, a candidate has to be a peace officer certified by a law enforcement academy. Terry Watson, the Democratic candidate for Henderson constable, hasn’t told the public much about himself — and he hasn’t attended a law enforcement academy. He isn’t qualified to replace the Republican incumbent, Earl Mitchell. John Bonaventura has spent the past four years making such a mess of the Las Vegas constable’s office that the County Commission eliminated the department. Henderson voters shouldn’t risk similar upheaval in their city. The Review-Journal endorses Earl Mitchell for Henderson constable.

Only one candidate on Tuesday’s ballot can boast of being on trial on felony criminal charges: Raymond James “Jim” Duensing, the Libertarian candidate for Clark County district attorney and the only challenger to incumbent Democrat Steve Wolfson. Duensing faces counts of resisting a police officer, carrying a concealed weapon and unlawful possession of a firearm. His trial started Thursday. The Review-Journal endorses Steve Wolfson for district attorney.

ON THE WEB: For a complete list of the Review-Journal editorial board’s 2014 election endorsements, go to www.reviewjournal.com/endorsements. The complete list of candidate endorsements was published Sunday.

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