Monday, Oct. 13, 2008 | midnight
Though most of the attention this election cycle has been on the presidential race between Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama, Nevadans are also being asked to decide a number of local races that will seriously impact Nevada's political landscape.
In the Nevada State Senate, where the Republican Party holds a one-seat advantage in the 21-member house, the Democratic Party is pushing hard to gain control of one more seat and take a majority.
In the State Assembly, the Republican Party that is trying to make inroads against the 27-15 advantage held by the Democratic Party.
In Henderson, voters will be asked to decide races that will have major impacts in both houses:
State Senate Seat 5
First-term incumbent Joe Heck, a Republican, is a physician and owner of a small business that provides medical training to law enforcement, emergency medical service and military personnel. In his four years in office, his committee assignments have been on the Natural Resources, Human Resources and Education, Commerce and Labor, and Transportation and Homeland Security Committees.
Heck's re-election platform focuses on strengthening the economy through increased renewable energy investment and low business tax, reducing the number of health insurance mandates and allowing out-of-state health coverage, increasing education funding and granting parents more choice in which school their children attend, and raising funding for police, fire and EMS agencies.
For more information on Joe Heck, visit www.senatorjoeheck.com.
Democratic challenger Shirley Breeden is an educator with 30 years of experience in the Clark County School District, most recently as director of professional development education.
Breeden's campaign focuses on six points: education funding, requiring pharmaceutical companies to report perks they provide to doctors who market their products, preventing property tax increases, making it easier to investigate oil companies to lower the cost of gas, investing in alternative energy to create jobs and drive down the cost of energy, and doubling the mandatory sentences for those who commit crimes against seniors and children and strengthening the state's sexual predator laws.
For more information on Shirley Breeden, visit www.breedenfornevada.com
State Assembly District 21
Ozark's primary victory over Republican incumbent Bob Beers has set up a showdown between two newcomers to represent Green Valley and surrounding communities.
Ozark is a revenue manager for the Rio casino.
His campaign consists of seven issues: lowering taxes, increased enforcement of immigration laws, attracting more doctors to Nevada, expanding charter and empowerment schools, reducing taxes and increasing support for small business owners, changing the way Nevada does its infrastructure planning and providing more incentives for water conservation.
For more information on Jon Ozark, visit www.jonozark.com.
Spiegel is the owner of a business consulting firm and the president of the Henderson Democratic Club.
She has identified six key issues: increasing insurance access for small businesses, negotiating with neighboring counties and states for water, establishing maximum school class sizes and programs to deal with teen pregnancy and drop-out rates, diversifying the state's economy, increasing funding for transportation projects and increasing workforce housing opportunities.
For more information on Ellen Spiegel, visit www.electellen.com.
State Assembly District 23
Democratic incumbent Rosemary Womack's decision to leave the Legislature after one term has set up another race between two new candidates.
Herr is an attorney who operates her own law firm, specializing in family and elder law.
She has identified four main priorities: keeping taxes low and increasing help for homeowners facing foreclosure, expanding health coverage for children and requiring greater transparency of health insurance polices, increasing graduation rates and providing more technical and career education courses, and making a state commission responsible for providing for the transport of renewable energy and updating the state's renewable energy portfolio requirements.
For more information on Allison Herr, visit www.herr4nv.com.
Melissa Woodbury is a 13-year teacher with the Clark County School District, working in special needs and bilingual education. She is the daughter of longtime County Commissioner Bruce Woodbury.
Woodbury told the Las Vegas Sun that her main priorities involve several education initiatives, including shifting some authority from the School District to the administrators and teacher at individual schools, increasing school choice for parents, providing incentives for teachers to stay in the Clark County School District and providing a mechanism for under-performing teachers to be dismissed.
For more information on Melissa Woodbury, visit www.melissawoodbury.com.
State Assembly District 29
This race features a matchup of two newcomers, following two-term Democratic incumbent Susan Gerhardt's announcement earlier this year that she would not seek re-election.
Fellows is a retired Air Force officer and captain in the Air Force Reserves.
His six main goals are to support a zero-based budget and increase budget transparency for residents, to increase education funding and teacher pay, to invest in renewable energy and turn Nevada into an energy exporter, to allow more physician choice in insurance coverage while increasing health care safeguards to prevent issues like the hepatitis outbreak, to increase immigration law enforcement and deny driver's licenses for illegal immigrants, and to provide for mass transit.
For more information on Sean Fellows, visit www.seanfellows.com.
Mastroluca is an employee of the National Parent Teacher Association whose duties include working with state and local associations.
Her priorities include keeping taxes low and investing in renewable energy to create jobs, working with civic groups and businesses to create programs that encourage parents to take part in their children's education, and providing health insurance for children and requiring more transparency in insurance policies.
For more information on April Mastroluca, visit www.aprilforassembly.com.
Jeremy Twitchell can be reached at 990-8928 or [email protected].