Washoe District Judge James Hardesty refused this week to confirm or deny rumors that he’s planning a run at the Nevada Supreme Court.
“I can’t comment about that, under Supreme Court rules, until after Monday,” he said. “There’s a Supreme Court rule—Canon 5 of the Judicial Code—that precludes any solicitation of money or public announcements until 240 days before the primary election, and that period begins on Jan. 11.”
This election, there are two Supreme Court seats open.
This stands to be one of the most hotly contested Supreme Court elections ever, due to the lingering controversy over the Supreme Court’s decision that rendered the two-thirds majority tax increase rule subordinate to the Nevada Constitution’s requirement that schools be funded. That decision ended the tax stalemate at the Nevada Legislature last year.
Justice Miriam Shearing currently holds one of the seats. She is the first woman to be elected to the court, and she has said she won’t seek a third term. Rumor has it that this is the race Hardesty is considering. Michael Douglas, a district judge, and Cynthia (Dianne) Steele, a family court judge, both of the 8th Judicial District Court in Las Vegas, are rumored to be possible opponents.
The other seat is held by Justice Deborah Agosti, who, while she hasn’t formally announced, is expected to run again. Names bandied about for running against Agosti include John Mason, a Lake Tahoe attorney, Doug Smith, justice of the peace from Las Vegas, and Don Ashworth, probate commissioner in Las Vegas.
Hardesty is chief justice of the 2nd Judicial District Court, elected in 1998. He’s been an attorney in Nevada since 1975.