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Retain Roger, Gillespie

A handful of local law enforcement posts are on the November ballot.

Eight-year Republican District Attorney David Roger faces a challenge this year from former deputy district attorney and former District Court judge Don Chairez.

Mr. Chairez argues Mr. Roger’s management style has driven away dozens of senior deputy district attorneys. Some of those departed deputies argue Mr. Rogers’ “five trial rule” for merit raises, in particular, has caused problems.

But the district attorney’s office under David Roger is getting the job done. The bad guys are put away, and the office is untouched by scandal. The fact that a newcomer would face a learning curve is precisely why “not changing horses in mid-stream” and “not fixing what ain’t broke” are more than empty cliches. David Roger has earned another term.

Meanwhile, Sheriff Doug Gillespie has seemed snake bit by controversial officer shootings and fatal traffic accidents involving members of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department as this election has neared. It’s to his credit that he hasn’t blamed those problems on mysterious outside forces: the sheriff realizes where the buck stops.

His opponent, Laurie Bisch, an officer on Mr. Gillespie’s force, shows some courage in making her electoral challenge, and is not overly dainty in her criticisms, blaming morale problems in the department on micromanagement from the top. While Mr. Gillespie has been the most open and forthcoming top cop in years, Ms. Bisch says it hasn’t been enough. And she argues the arrangements under which the new police administrative headquarters and the misdemeanor jail were financed and built were not good deals for taxpayers.

Such debate is healthy and should be encouraged. But Ms. Bisch hasn’t even made sergeant. Administering a department the size of Metro would be quite a jump from her five-employee side job.

Doug Gillespie worked his way up through the ranks, has wide experience, has been a competent administrator and understands the challenges of negotiating new union contracts in tough economic times. Yes, still more openness is needed. But neither should voters ignore the progress that’s been made. We endorse Doug Gillespie for sheriff.

The race to fill the office of constable, Las Vegas township, is between John Bonaventura, who served one term in the state Assembly 15 years ago, and former deputy Peter Gariano, a Henderson city marshal with 21 years of law enforcement experience. Peter Gariano is by far the better choice.

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