On March 2, Nevada kicked off a two-week filing period for candidates seeking election and reelection to appear on the ballot. The primary election will take place June 9, with early voting from May 23 to June 5. The general election is Nov. 3, with an early voting period extending from Oct. 17-30.
Candidates who appeared at the Washoe County Clerk’s office on the first day of filing included Richard “Skip” Daly, who’s running for the Nevada Assembly seat he currently holds for District 31; Teresa Benitez-Thompson, the Assembly’s Majority Floor Leader and representative of District 27; and Natha Anderson, who’s running to represent District 30.
Anderson, who’s a teacher and lobbyist for the Nevada State Education Association, spoke about the educational priorities she’d pursue if elected.
“I would say that fixing the education funding formula is number one, which is already going to be a large, large point of contention, I believe,” she said. “I would say number two would have to be our class sizes. We have to start addressing them—our class sizes and case loads. … When it comes to our counselors right now, we’ve got some of our elementary school counselors who’ve got 700 kids on their case loads. It’s very difficult to offer the social and emotional learning necessary when you’ve got so many.”
Anderson said that addressing education funding would require taking a look at the state’s current tax structure.
“Do we have everything the way we should?” she said. “Are there other elements that should also be considered? And when I say elements, I mean some of the loopholes. Do we need to continue to have all of those loopholes? And, if so, great—but let’s try to figure out if it’s been helping us or not, as a community.”
Examples of the loopholes Anderson would like to take a closer look at include things like the corporate welfare the state has so readily handed out to large companies like Tesla, deferring their taxes that might otherwise be put toward infrastructure needs like schools.
Anderson supported the WC-1 ballot question of 2016 that raised Washoe County’s sales tax to one of the highest in the nation. She said she’s been pleased with the way funds from the higher taxes have been utilized.
“I think we’re doing the best we can with how quick we can get our buildings done, our reconfigurations that are necessary,” Anderson said. “We’re really trying to get the needs to our students as much as possible. I look at Poulakidas [Elementary School]. It’s awesome. … When I go to Poulakidas, the kids are just beaming. And it just makes you so happy.”