Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2004 | 3:46 a.m.
Freshman Assemblywoman Peggy Pierce faces challenges from two opponents in the Democratic primary in Assembly District 3.
The district has about 2,200 more registered active Democratic voters than Republicans.
Pierce, who is running on a platform seeking adequate funding for schools, supports better water conservation and expanding affordable health care options, is up against small-business owner Mel Kalagian and Philippine Chamber of Commerce President Tonie Sison.
The winner meets Republican Brian Packer and Independent American Party candidate Clint Barker in the November general election, both of whom are unopposed in the primary.
Pierce, who served on the Air Quality Hearing Board and the Air Quality Forum, said she has been a resident for 16 years and politically active, particularly in the conservation movement.
In the last Legislature, Pierce, 50, a community liaison for the Culinary Union, was a member of the Elections, Procedures and Ethics Committee as well as committees on government affairs, taxation and health and human services.
Kalagian, 41, a Bonanza High School and University of Nevada, Las Vegas graduate with a degree in criminal justice and political science, has been an advocate for the homeless and veterans and has championed the cause of accounting for prisoners of war and those missing in action.
The owner of MK Consulting, Kalagian has been a campaign volunteer for 20 years. He served as a project coordinator for former U.S. Sen. Richard Bryan and was an advocate for Circle of Friends for Veterans, a nonprofit veterans group.
His platform includes education spending reforms, providing livable wages and more responsibility in the spending of tax dollars.
Sison, a Manila-born real estate broker who has a bachelor of business administration degree, came to the United States in 1970 and settled in Chicago, where he worked as a city accountant.
Sison, 62, moved to Las Vegas in 1990 and a year later established the Philippine Chamber of Commerce. He has been active in the "Adopt a Road" litter control program. His platform includes fiscal responsibility and securing budget appropriations to encourage development within the district.