Las Vegas Sun

July 28, 2015

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Letter to the readers:

Does who’s running in local, state races matter?

Dear reader,

This fall’s ballot will be hefty, topped by the presidential race and the congressional elections. That’s obviously where most of the attention will be. But that’s not where the ballot ends.

In Clark County, a lengthy ballot will have a variety of state and local government races. Those races don’t command the attention they probably should, so let’s steer away from the federal races for a minute — there will be plenty of opportunity for those discussions — and take a moment to look more locally.

Consider that state and local governments provide a variety of services that affect people directly — water, sewer, police, emergency services and building and health standards, among others. The role of the leaders we elect to state and local offices is important. Whether it’s the Legislature limiting the use of handheld cellphones or commissioners setting zoning boundaries or a judge handing out a sentence, there’s an impact on the local community. And we haven’t mentioned the role of the local school board and its role in education.

This year in Clark County, there are 10 state Senate seats on the ballot along with 31 Assembly seats. Voters will fill four positions on both the Clark County Commission and the Clark County School District’s board. There are three seats on both the university system’s board of regents and the state Board of Education that Clark County voters will fill. And there are also a handful of races for District Court and justice of the peace.

As we start to review the candidates for state and local offices this year, we want to know your thoughts about those races and what issues and concerns you might have. Here are some questions to consider:

• Which races matter to you? Or do they? Why?

• How important is education to you? What, if anything, do you think the state and School District should do to improve it?

• What do you think the Legislature, the county commission and any other state or local leader can or should do about the economy? (For example, if you believe taxes and regulations are problems, let us know which ones and how. If you think tax incentives are the way to go, tell us what you would propose.)

• What do local and state officials need to do more of or less of?

• Do you vote on the judicial races? How do you make your choices?

• Are there issues, concerns or questions you’d raise with the candidates in any of the local or state races?

We would love to hear your thoughts. We’ll use them as we prepare to talk to candidates this year, and we’ll ask them to address some of your questions and concerns. We’ll also print some of your answers in the future.

You can send an email to letters@lasvegassun.com and be sure to put elections in the subject line. You can also mail your ideas to Letters to the editor, Las Vegas Sun, 2360 Corporate Circle, Third Floor, Henderson, NV 89074.

Thanks for your thoughts,

Matt

Matt Hufman is the assistant managing editor/opinion.

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