The editorial staff of the Reno News & Review chose to stay mostly disengaged from the primary election this time around. The bottom line to our reasoning is that the primary elections are a dysfunctional and unfair way to choose candidates, particularly in this state where so many voters consider ourselves independent of the political parties.
That being said, though, since so many voters are so completely disinterested in this election, we see an opportunity: A relatively small number of people can have an outsized effect on who moves forward to the general election. In other words, readers of this newspaper can give the best candidates—not necessarily the richest candidates—a real shot at moving to the general election. In a primary election where as little as 10 percent of voters may decide to vote, a few hundred people can turn this thing on its head.
We’re only endorsing in the non-partisan, contested races, so it’s not a long list. Our criteria for endorsement are pretty limited. First, we’re not endorsing the so-called “business” candidates. We’re also not endorsing candidates who have the endorsement of the status quo. We want smart, independent people who’ve shown through their actions before a seat came open that their hearts are in the right places.
So, for those who really want to monkeywrench the Reno political system, here’s our little list.
For mayor, we’re endorsing Erik Holland. This wasn’t an easy choice. So many of the candidates actually fit our criteria for smart, change-oriented, good-hearted people. But as far as someone who already lives the cultural Reno we’d like to see, he’s the best choice.
For Reno City Council, Ward 2, we’re endorsing Elisa Cafferata. Pretty tough to call a member of this political dynasty an outsider, but she’s shown a long commitment to making Reno a better place.
For Reno City Council, Ward 4, we’re endorsing Mike Steedman. He’s got the business bona fides—owner of Truckee River Paint and Wallpaper and the Studio on 4 Performing Art Venue—but he’s also on the Sierra Arts Foundation Board and the Advisory Board of the Holland Project.
We think two good sheriff candidates will come out of the primary, but we want to ensure an outsider gets a shot at running a department that is already run pretty well, so we’re suggesting you vote for Chuck Allen for sheriff. It does not hurt that he’s very media savvy.
In Sparks, cast a vote for Gene Newhall. He certainly does not represent the status quo.
For Sparks City Council, we like Ed Goodrich in Ward 2 and Rudy Viola in Ward 4.
Finally, for Justice of the Peace in Sparks Department 1, we’re endorsing Brooke Keast. She’s got a variety of experience in many different fields, and she has a kind outlook.
You can early vote through June 6 or vote on the more traditional primary election day on June 10.