Assembly race gets dirty

The District 24 Assembly race between incumbent Democrat Vivian Freeman and challenger Republican Jason Geddes seems to have reached a pretty low point.

Sources say that Freeman used her position as Nevada assemblywoman to question Geddes’ job at the University of Nevada, Reno. The legislature assigns the amount of money the university gets, so a warning from a legislator can be intimidating.

Geddes, UNR environmental affairs manager, said he’d heard about the threats, and he was “disappointed.’

“I was the top candidate for the job,’ he said. “They were aware that I was running, and they offered me the job anyway.’

As a university employee, if elected, Geddes would have to abstain from voting on job-related issues .

Glenn Miller, director of environmental sciences and health at UNR, verified that Freeman called him, asking about how Geddes came to be employed at the university and telling him that she thought the university had erred in hiring Geddes.

Miller said he found Freeman’s tactics startling. He felt she was manipulating the political process.

“I found Vivian’s strong reaction to the university rather surprising,’ Miller said. “She seemed to suggest that Jason was hired for political purposes or, on the flipside, should not have been hired because he was running against her. In either case, [hiring for political reasons is] something the university simply does not do.’

“It’s a non-issue, a non story,’ Freeman said. “It doesn’t mean a thing.’

In a later e-mail she sent to the RN&R, she wrote: “I did have some questions at first regarding his employment. My question about his employment came before he was on record [in a Reno Gazette-Journal story] that he did not inform the university of his candidacy until he became a finalist for that position. At the time he filed, he was employed by the state. Mr. Geddes has become a public figure and should expect the same level of scrutiny that he and his campaign have given me.’