Las Vegas Sun

November 22, 2014

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Supreme Court hears term-limit arguments in Reno mayoral race

CARSON CITY — The Nevada Supreme Court will determine whether a provision in the state constitution prohibiting “career politicians” bars two term-limited Reno City Council members from running for mayor.

Chief Justice Mark Gibbons said earlier that the issue could affect other cities in Nevada.

After hearing 35 minutes of arguments, Gibbons said the “issue is of great public importance” and the court “will commence deliberations immediately.” He noted that the candidate-filing period for the mayoral race begins in March.

George “Eddie” Lorton, a candidate for mayor, filed a petition with the Supreme Court asking it to bar council members Jessica Sferrazza and Dwight Dortch from running for the office because they have both served on the City Council for 12 years.

They cannot run for City Council because of term limits. The mayor sits and votes with the other six members of the council.

Stephanie Rice, an attorney for Lorton, argued that the two council members and sitting Mayor Bob Cashell have voted on issues for 12 years and that the Nevada Constitution is aimed at preventing “career politicians.”

Attorneys on the other side of the issue argued that the offices of city council and mayor are separate and distinct.

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