Las Vegas Sun

December 22, 2014

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Sun Editorial:

Election? What election?

Primary turnout was poor despite important contests on the ballot

Apathy, sad to say, ruled the day. On Tuesday only about one of every seven registered voters in Clark County bothered to cast a ballot in the primary election.

Sure, there weren’t many competitive races that generated excitement and a number of incumbents were unopposed, but this was the best we could do? It wasn’t as if there weren’t important contests being decided. There were a substantial number of county, state and legislative contests — not to mention an open seat on the Supreme Court and a fair share of other judicial races.

In several races, voters showed excellent judgment. District Judge Elizabeth Halverson and Family Court Judge Nicholas Del Vecchio, both of whom faced disciplinary hearings before the Nevada Judicial Discipline Commission, lost and won’t advance to the general election.

Voters also showed sound judgment elsewhere: A couple of Republican Assembly incumbents in Clark County lost as well — Francis Allen to Richard McArthur in District 4 and Bob Beers to Jon Ozark in District 21.

Meanwhile, up north in Washoe County in a Republican primary, we were glad to see that state Senate Majority Leader Bill Raggio was fending off a challenge by ex-Assemblywoman Sharron Angle, who seemed determined to follow in the footsteps of Nevada’s anti-tax, anti-government governor, Jim Gibbons.

Next up is the general election and, despite the apathy that marked the primary, we don’t think such a poor turnout will be reprised in November. There will be an array of exciting local, state and federal races that should grab the public’s attention.

The Congressional District 3 race is certain to generate enthusiasm, pitting Democrat Dina Titus against Republican incumbent Jon Porter. And we can’t forget that Nevada is shaping up as a swing state in the presidential election, with Barack Obama and John McCain understanding that in a close election the road to the White House will include plenty of campaign stops — and TV advertising — in Nevada.

Despite a slow start with this primary, it promises to be a wild ride from here until Election Day in November.

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