Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2004 | 2:32 a.m.
Democratic Assemblyman Morse Arberry hopes to extend his 20-year career in Carson City, but first he must get past a primary challenge from fellow District 7 Democrat Tracey Lewis.
Lewis, 35, is a teacher and family aide in a Clark County School District pre-school program, but has been on medical leave from that job since a car accident in November.
Lewis unsuccessfully ran for the state Board of Education four years ago.
As her profession and past political endeavor would indicate, education is a top priority for Lewis. Lewis said if elected she would push for higher pay for teachers and smaller classes in public schools.
She also said she wants Spanish classes to begin in kindergarten, and possibly expand the school week to six days.
Lewis said she's also concerned about health care.
Arberry was re-elected two years ago with 61 percent of the vote. But since his re-election, he has been part of the potentially damaging double-dipping controversy.
Arberry is a former employee of Las Vegas' Neighborhood Services Department, and an investigation showed he received regular and sick pay for days the Legislature was in session.
Arberry did not return a questionnaire sent to all candidates, and could not be reached for comment for this story.
The winner of the Arberry-Lewis primary will move on to the general election against Republican Gary Steven Seward Sr. and independent candidate Stan Vaughn.
The district includes parts of North Las Vegas and Las Vegas that are generally between Rancho Drive on the west, Interstate 15 on the east, Craig Road to the north, and Lake Mead Boulevard on the south.