Election 2024: Tracking Nevada local government and education candidate announcements
Although local government and statewide education hopefuls won’t be able to file until March 4, some people looking to attain or maintain a seat by the end of 2024 have been campaigning for this election for years.
The race for the Las Vegas mayor seat has been heating up since 2021, with seven candidates — including former Rep. Shelley Berkley — already announcing their intentions to seek the position held by outgoing Mayor Carolyn Goodman and her husband, Oscar Goodman, for the past 25 years.
As Las Vegas Councilman Cedric Crear turns his attention to the mayor’s race, Assembly members Shondra Summers-Armstrong (D-Las Vegas) and Cameron “C.H.” Miller (D-Las Vegas) will vie for his Ward 5 seat. Erika Smith is also running for Ward 5.
At the Clark County Commission, all but one of the four incumbents have announced re-election bids. District C incumbent Ross Miller has decided to “step aside to let somebody else take on what really turns out to be more than a full-time job.”
In Northern Nevada, Reno is gaining a sixth ward that has affected who represents specific areas of the city. Councilman Devon Reese is running for Ward 5 against Brian Cassidy, the owner of the dumpster rental company Junk King, and Sheila Peuchaud, a former professor at UNR.
Kathleen Taylor — who is running for a different ward than she was appointed to because of the Ward 6 addition — is facing Frank Perez, who recently left his position as chair for the Washoe County Library Board, for the Ward 1 seat left vacant by longtime Councilwoman Jenny Brekhus, who cannot run again due to term limits. Miguel Martinez is running for the Ward 3 seat after being appointed to the position in 2022.
At the Washoe County Commission, District 1 Commissioner Alexis Hill will face Marsha Berkbigler; Clara Andriola, who was appointed to fill the District 4 seat after Vaughn Hartung left, will run against Tracy Hilton-Thomas.
The rural county commissions — including Eureka, Lander, Nye, Storey and White Pine — are facing open seats as incumbents Michael Sharkozy, Patsy Waits, Donna Cox, Lance Gilman and Laurie Carson, respectively, term out.
The Nevada State Higher Education Board of Regents and the Nevada State Board of Education each have four seats open this election cycle.
Candidate filing is March 4-15.
For a full breakdown of who has announced so far, check out our tracker. Read further below for details on candidate announcements and how races are playing out. Have you seen an announcement that we haven’t noticed? Want to flag something related to local government or education elections for us? Please email [email protected] or fill out this form.
Updated at 11:09 a.m. on 1/12/24 to reflect who is running for which office in Reno. Updated at 9:30 a.m. on 1/15/2024 to include Erika Smith as one of the candidates for Ward 5 in Las Vegas. Updated at 1:35 p.m. on 1/24/24 to include a Clark County School Board Trustee Lisa Guzman's announcement on not seeking re-election.
Updated Feb. 23:
Former teacher announces bid for Clark County School Board
Former Clark County teacher and community advocate and organizer Mercedes McKinley announced her candidacy this week for Clark County School District Board of Trustees District A. The seat is currently held by Board Clerk Lisa Guzman, who announced last month that she would not be seeking re-election.
District A encompasses Henderson as well as Laughlin and Searchlight.
McKinley, a graduate of Eldorado High School and an immigrant from El Salvador, said in a Wednesday statement that she thinks a dramatic culture shift, set by district leaders, is needed in Clark County schools in order for students and teachers to be successful.
At least one other candidate, Emily Stevens, has launched a campaign for the seat.
Updated Feb. 21:
Former Lyon County planning commissioner announces campaign
John Cassinelli on Tuesday announced his bid for Lyon County Commission District 1, a seat currently held by Wes Henderson, who told The Nevada Independent Wednesday night that he is undecided on if he’ll seek re-election.
Cassinelli owns a landscaping and construction business and is board president of the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce.
His government participation includes four years on the Lyon County Planning Commission, where he helped develop the county's master plan and land use and development codes.
Updated Feb. 16:
After legal battle over termination, ex-Sparks fire chief running for Washoe Commission
Former Sparks Fire Chief Mark Lawson told The Nevada Independent on Thursday he intends to run as a Republican for the Washoe County Commission District 4 seat. His announcement came just days after the Sparks City Council unanimously approved a $381,000 settlement to Lawson.
This settlement ended a monthslong legal battle between Lawson and the city that was a result of the former fire chief pushing back against what he called an unfair firing. The city said Lawson resigned after Sparks staff learned he was facing “serious criminal charges,” according to KRNV.
Lawson’s criminal case, which involved four felony steroid charges, was dismissed without prejudice (meaning prosecutors can file it again) in early February.
He will be running against incumbent Clara Andriola and candidate Tracey Hilton-Thomas in the Republican primary.
Updated Feb. 6:
Assemblywoman Bilbray-Axelrod announces for Clark County Commission District C
Assemblywoman Shannon Bilbray-Axelrod (D-Las Vegas) launched a website on Tuesday announcing her candidacy for Clark County Commission District C.
The district is open after incumbent Democratic Commissioner Ross Miller decided not to run for re-election.
Bilbray-Axelrod is in her fourth term in the Assembly, and her seat is up for election in 2024.
In the 2020 election, Miller defeated Republican Stavros Anthony by 10 votes, winning the seat, which represents the northwestern neighborhoods of the Las Vegas Valley. A recount sought by Anthony, who is now lieutenant governor, widened Miller’s margin to 30 votes.
Updated Jan. 30:
Kirkpatrick makes Clark County Commission re-election bid official
Clark County Commissioner Marilyn Kirkpatrick has officially announced her run for re-election along with endorsements from high profile Democratic-leaders: Sens. Catherine Cortez Masto and Jacky Rosen, as well as Rep. Steven Horsford.
Kirkpatrick, a Democrat, was appointed to the commission in 2015, making this year’s election her third for her current seat. She has no known challengers at this time.
She previously served in the Nevada Assembly for 11 years and was speaker from 2013-2015.
“At a time when partisan divides have only become greater,” Kirkpatrick said in her announcement, “I’ve always believed in bringing people together, regardless of party, to get things done and find common ground.”
Updated Jan. 29:
Recreation and Parks Commission appointee makes Reno City Council Ward 5 bid
Tara Webster, a recent appointee to the Recreation and Parks Commission for the City of Reno, announced her candidacy for the Ward 5 seat Friday. Webster also works for Headwaters Science Institute, a local nonprofit that provides science education outreach for Reno, Tahoe, Truckee and the East Bay of California.
In 2022, Webster applied for the Ward 5 seat left vacant when Neoma Jardon accepted a position as the executive director of the Reno Downtown Partnership, but Kathleen Taylor was appointed to the seat.
“I want to ensure that the people I serve in public office feel safe, supported, and welcome in their community,” Webster wrote on her campaign website.
Updated Jan. 25:
Former teacher seeks Washoe County School Board seat held by Jeff Church
Christine Hull, a former Washoe County teacher, announced Wednesday her bid for the Washoe County School Board District A seat. Hull is the program director for the nonprofit Nevada Center for Civic Engagement, where she works to bring civics and history education programs to K-12 classrooms. Hull has also served on multiple district committees, including as chair of the zoning advisory committee.
Hull could be running against the incumbent, Trustee Jeff Church, whose district includes south and southeast Reno, Washoe Valley and Incline Village. Church hasn’t announced if he will seek re-election.
In her statement announcing her candidacy, Hull spoke out against Church, who’s known for making controversial statements against the school district and board and was nearly censured in 2021 for possibly board policy violations.
“I have seen firsthand how our incumbent trustee, Jeff Church, is failing our students and our schools,” she said. “He has no interest in supporting or improving our schools, only in tearing down the good work and progress that we, as a community, have fought hard to make. While I never imagined or wished to run for office, I can no longer sit by and watch.”
Church did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Education advocate Anna Marie Binder seeks open Clark County School Board seat
Anne Marie Binder announced her candidacy for the Clark County School Board District A seat on Thursday, a day after the incumbent, Trustee Lisa Guzman, announced she wouldn’t be seeking re-election.
Binder is known for being an education advocate in the community. Her involvement includes the Nevada Department of Education’s special education advisory committee, school organization teams and the Clark County School District’s zoning and attendance advisory committee. Last year, she was reappointed to the district’s audit advisory committee. She’s a parent of six, including two students with special needs.
Binder is the only known candidate so far for District A, which encompasses Henderson as well as Laughlin and Searchlight.
Updated Jan. 24:
Clark County School Board Trustee Lisa Guzman not seeking re-election
Guzman announced Wednesday she will not seek a second term on the Clark County School Board. Guzman has been on the board since 2021, and currently serves as the board’s clerk. She represents District A, which encompasses Henderson as well as Laughlin and Searchlight. Guzman works as the assistant executive director of the Nevada State Education Association.
She said in her statement she won’t be endorsing anyone running for her seat until after the primary. There are no known candidates yet for the seat.
Updated Jan. 15:
Lily Baran announces her campaign for Reno City Council
Baran, a local activist and community engagement manager with Planned Parenthood, is running for the Ward 1 seat on Reno City Council. She will face Frank Perez and Kathleen Taylor in the upcoming election.
Her campaign comes after Baran gained significant public support when she threw her hat in the ring for the Ward 3 appointment in 2022. Miguel Martinez was appointed to the seat after Baran did not receive a single vote from the city council to become a finalist for the position.
“After tremendous support from the community during the appointment process for the recently vacated seat, it is clear I have the trust of the people to lead Reno into the bright, thriving city that we all know is possible now that their voices can be heard at the ballot box,” Baran said in her campaign announcement.