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EDITORIAL: Primary candidates who don’t pass muster

In a low-turnout election, anything can happen. And Tuesday’s statewide primary election might set a new standard for low turnout.

Through Thursday, Clark County had the lowest total turnout of any county in the state, at just 7.75 percent when early and absentee voting were combined. Statewide, only 8.65 percent of registered voters had cast ballots. By the time Tuesday’s voting concludes, both Clark County and the state will be lucky to crack 15 percent.

Turnout that low can lead to the election of someone because their name appeared first on the ballot, because their name was similar to that of another candidate or because their campaign sign was the same color as someone else’s.

Low turnout can also help unqualified, incompetent and dangerous candidates advance to November’s ballot. Unfortunately, there’s no shortage of them this spring.

By now, voters might be familiar with John Bonaventura. He was elected Las Vegas constable in 2010 and made such a mockery of the office that the Clark County Commission abolished it. So Bonaventura is running in the Democratic primary for County Commission, District G. He’s unworthy of your vote.

You also might have seen Jacob Hafter’s name in the news. He’s an attorney running for District Court, Department 22. Mr. Hafter, an Orthodox Jew, called a judge a racist and an anti-Semite for not halting a trial so he could observe a Jewish holiday. That District Court judge, Valorie Vega, is married to a Jew. (Full disclosure: Review-Journal reporter Howard Stutz is Judge Vega’s husband.) As reported by the Review-Journal’s David Ferrara, Mr. Hafter lobbed similar accusations at a federal judge. Mr. Hafter is unworthy of your vote.

There are nine candidates for Clark County sheriff on the primary ballot. One has no business being there. Tim Deam is a bail bondsman who was arrested in 2006 in connection with a murder-for-hire plot targeting a colleague. As reported by the Review-Journal’s Mike Blasky, Deam was convicted in 2007 of conspiracy to commit a crime and battery with substantial bodily harm, both gross misdemeanors. He was sentenced to 15 months in jail, given credit for the time he had spent at the Clark County Detention Center and released. Deam is unworthy of your vote.

Nakia Woodson is one of six Democrats seeking the Assembly District 3 seat, but she’s the only one accused of felony welfare fraud. As reported by Mr. Blasky, she also had a harassment complaint filed against her by a political consultant over her demands for repayment of a nonrefundable deposit. Ms. Woodson is unworthy of your vote.

Do your homework. Research the candidates. And if you don’t know anything about a particular race, leave it blank. Don’t cast a ballot for a buffoon out of ignorance.

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