By all means, vote

The Reno News & Review's endorsements (so far)

U. S. President: Barack Obama

U. S. Senate: Shelley Berkley

Representative in Congress, District 2: Samuel Koepnick

Nevada Senate District 13: Debbie Smith

Nevada Senate District 15: Sheila Leslie

State Assembly, District 24: David Bobzien

State Assembly, District 25: Pat Hickey

State Assembly, District 26: Rodney Petzak

State Assembly, District 27: Teresa Benitez-Thompson

State Assembly, District 30: Mike Sprinkle

State Assembly, District 31: Skip Daly

State Assembly, District 32: Ira Hansen

State Assembly, District 40: Rich Dunn

Washoe County Commission, District 1: Andrew Diss

Washoe County Commission, District 4: Vaughn Hartung

District Court Judge, Department 9: Cal Dunlap and Scott N. Freeman

State Board of Education, District 2: Donna Clontz

Justice of the Peace Reno/Verdi, Department 1: Patricia Lynch

Justice of the Peace, Reno/Verdi Department 6: Pierre Hascheff

University of Nevada Regent, District 9: Michon Maupin Mackedon

School Trustee, District E: Howard Rosenberg

School Trustee, District E: Diane Nicolet

Reno City Council, Ward 1: Jenny Brekhus

Reno City Council, Ward 3: Oscar Delgado

Reno City Council, Ward 5: Kitty K. Jung

Reno City Council, At-Large: Hillary Schieve

Nevada State Question No. 1: Vote Yes

Washoe County Question WC-1: Skip this one

Washoe County Question WC-2: Skip this one

Reno Question RNO-1: Vote No

We’ve got just a few more election endorsements before the main event on Nov. 6. We’re not endorsing in every race. There are lots of reasons for that. First, we don’t want to endorse in races where we don’t have a clear preference, as in the general improvement districts. Our advice in the GIDs: Pick your neighbor.

Likewise, we don’t really need to endorse in some of the state races. We think Heidi Waterman is a nice person, but we don’t need to endorse David Bobzien to be pretty sure which way this race is going to go. In uncontested Supreme Court “races,” vote either way, and you get the same result. Vote “None of these candidates,” and you can feel like you cast your protest votes. Seems like in the future, the Independent American Party could float some candidates into these nonpartisan races to really screw up the judiciary. That would make people pay attention.

So let’s go. We like Teresa Benitez-Thompson in Assembly 27. In fact, except in races where there’s no Democratic competition, we’re looking at a Democratic plate: Rodney Petzak, Mike Sprinkle, Skip Daly and Rich Dunn (Assembly 26, 30, 31, 40, respectively). Marsha Berkbigler will probably win the District 1 spot on the Washoe County Commission, but you should vote Andrew Diss, just so it won’t be so obvious that rich people bought the seat. We can endorse Republicans Pat Hickey in Assembly 25 and Ira Hansen in Assembly 32 because, well, Democrats are pussies. Same with Republican Vaughn Hartung for Washoe County Commission District 4—until they come up with a write-in option or a “none” option with teeth, the uncontested candidates are among our favorites. Go team!

On the state board of education District 2, we like Donna Clontz. Come on, we need to be sensible. Education is underfunded. Period. It’s just possible that some reasonable, rational people will recognize that education has to improve in order for the economic climate to improve in the urban areas of the Silver State. People who take options for improvement off the table before they are even discussed need to stay retired. Clontz has been strong in this state in many ways for many years. Let’s put the sensible person in charge.

In that Justice of the Peace race, Reno/Verdi, Department 1, we’re pretty ambivalent. Both Patricia Lynch and Greg Shannon are qualified and skilled candidates. But Lynch has held the seat for five years or so, and we haven’t seen any particular reason to replace her. She’s got the direct experience. She doesn’t come as much from a prosecutorial point of view (which is heavily overrepresented in local judgeships), she seems much more agreeable than she did as Reno city attorney. On the other hand, there are people who think non-incumbency and a prosecutorial attitude are exactly what they want in a Justice of the Peace. We’re still endorsing Patricia Lynch—let’s keep the good ones.

In fact, let’s make that our theme for Election 2012. Keep the good ones, replace the tools with educated, thoughtful people, stay home if you don’t like our suggestions.

One more suggestion: Now, at the end, pay no attention to complaints filed with official government bodies like the state Ethics Commission by desperate candidates.

But if you do want change, by all means, vote.