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Keener announces mayor run

City Council incumbent Reece Keener answers questions during a candidate forum in 2014. Keener has announced his intention to run for mayor in 2018. 

Elko Daily Free Press file photo

ELKO – City Councilman Reece Keener announced Wednesday his intention to run for mayor in 2018.

The announcement comes as several key offices in the city of Elko, the county and the state will be up for election this year. The primary election is June 12, and the general election is Nov. 6.

Keener said he contemplated his run for mayor over the holiday season and that he would vacate his seat on the city council.

“It’s a big responsibility,” Keener said about the office of mayor.

Keener also said he would not run against Mayor Chris Johnson if Johnson were eligible to run for another term. Johnson was elected mayor in June 2011 after serving as a councilman, and is ineligible to run again because of term limits.

Other seats up for election this year include sheriff, two seats on the city council including Keener’s, and two county commission seats, along with county clerk, district attorney, recorder and treasurer.

Cliff Eklund was elected to the county commission in 2014 and was unsure if he would run again for the District 2 seat.

“I kinda am leaning toward running ... unless my wife says ‘No,’” Eklund said, explaining that public service affects the entire family.

County commissioner Delmo Andreozzi said he is leaning toward running for re-election for his District 4 seat, but is still talking it over with his wife and family, too.

“It’s a great honor and privilege … to be in public office,” Andreozzi said. “At this point, I’m still talking it over with my wife. When you run for office, you take the whole family with you.”

City Councilman John Patrick Rice agreed with Andreozzi, saying that his decision is weighed with his family. However, he is considering running for a third term.

“I may, but it’s still a personal decision,” Rice said. “People have spoken to me about running once again, and I’m encouraged by that. There are a few more things that I think I’d like to accomplish.”

Because of term limits, Rice said he is “still eligible to run for one more [term]. I will only have served 11-and-a-half years.”

Nevada voters approved term limits in 1996, but a ruling by the Nevada Supreme Court in 2014 stated that a council member – someone who is elected as mayor or to the city council – cannot serve more than 12 years.

City Clerk Shanell Owens said that because of the law, and because the election cycle for city offices changed from June to November, Johnson has served more than 12 years.

Johnson couldn’t be reached for comment by deadline.

Explaining how the law might apply in Rice’s situation, Owens said if Rice decides to run for re-election and wins, it would be his last term in office.

The filing period for candidates to seek city or county offices is March 5-16. County office candidates file at the Elko County Clerk’s office, and city candidates file at City Hall.

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Federal and state offices

Twelve federal and state offices will be on the 2018 ballots as seats come up for election this year.

The U.S. Senate seat held by Republican Dean Heller since 2011 is up for election.

In the U.S. Congress, the 2nd District of Nevada will be on the ballot. Mark Amodei has represented the district — which includes most of Lyon County, all of Churchill, Douglas, Elko, Eureka, Humboldt, Lander, Pershing, Storey and Washoe counties, and Carson City — since 2011.

Gov. Brian Sandoval reaches his term limit this year, having served two consecutive two-year terms, and voters must fill the gubernatorial seat.

Also up for election are the offices of lieutenant governor, held by Mark Hutchison since 2014, and secretary of state, held by Barbara K. Cegavske since 2015. Both offices serve four-year terms.

Voters also must elect a new state treasurer, controller and attorney general. All serve four-year terms. Nevada’s current treasurer, Republican Dan Schwartz, and attorney general, Republican Adam Laxalt, have announced their bids for governor. Ron Knecht is the state controller.

Assemblyman John C. Ellison’s position as the representative in the State Assembly, District 33, also will be decided by voters. Assembly members serve two-year terms. Ellison has served as assemblyman since 2010 and said he plans to run for re-election.

“I never worked so hard in my life as I have for the state,” Ellison said. “We care about it; otherwise, we wouldn’t be doing it.”

In the Nevada Supreme Court, seats C, F and G will be on the ballot. Justices Michael Cherry, Michael Douglas and Lidia Stiglich serve on those seats. Justices serve six-year terms.


Staff writer for the Elko Daily Free Press

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