Las Vegas Sun

October 23, 2018

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Assemblyman from Henderson says he won’t run this year


People who filed for office in Clark County on Tuesday. Incumbents are marked with an asterisk. Filing runs through May 14: U.S. Senate

Kenneth A. Wegner (R) State Senate

District 1 Mike Schaefer (D)

District 3 Leo Davenport (R)

District 7 (Seat A) Ken Sondej (R) Assembly

District 2 Geoffrey VanderPal (D)

District 4 Francis Allen (R)

District 13 Justin Jones (D); Chad Christensen (R)*; Rudolph "Rudy" Durso (R)

District 14 Ellen Koivisto (D)*

District 15 Kathy McClain (D)*

District 23 Richard D. Perkins (D)*

District 37 Marcus Conklin (D)*

District 42 Kurt Brauner (R) County Commission

District B John Bonaventura (D)

District C Bill Krane (R)

District D Yvonne Atkinson-Gates (D)* Supreme Court

Seat A Don Ashworth; Cynthia "Dianne" Steel

Seat E Doug Smith Family Court

Department B Gloria Sanchez Regents

District 13 Matthew Berkus School Board

District B Lester Lewis

District C Ernest del Casal; Tammy Green

District E Ryan Devins Justice of the Peace

Department 9 Michael Federico

Republican Assemblyman Walter Andonov announced Tuesday he won't run for re-election in his Henderson district, which is largely Republican.

Both Democrats and Republicans are busy looking for candidates to run in the now-open seat.

With Republicans hoping to capture the majority in the Assembly this year, it's important to find a strong candidate, said Assembly Minority Leader Lynn Hettrick, R-Gardnerville.

"It should be a safe seat for us with a good candidate," Hettrick said. "Obviously, I know Walter won't walk away without finding someone who's capable."

The 35-year-old Andonov, who has won a prestigious fellowship to pursue his doctorate at Yale University, sent out a press release listing three potential Republicans who might run for his seat: CPA and community activist David Chavez; Rudy Manthei, Henderson ophthalmologist and chairman of Keep Our Doctors in Nevada; and Bob Kasner, whom Andonov described as a "government financial guru."

The latest voter registration figures show that 8,190 Democrats are registered in the district, compared to 10,086 Republicans. There are 3,504 registered nonpartisan voters.

Still, Lindsey Jydstrup, executive director of the Democratic Legislative Caucus, said Democrats have "some feelers out" for potential candidates.

"In an open seat, you never know," she said. "We certainly have had instances with a really good candidate that you can overcome the party registration."

Andonov, who owns his own management consulting business, called the decision difficult to make not only because he is leaving the Legislature but also because he and his wife will have to move.

He will continue his work on the Interim Finance Committee until he has to start school in September, he said.

"Last session was a fairly difficult one to go through," he said. "I think it proved to people throughout the state that who their legislators are matters."

Still, the one-term legislator calls the fellowship he won a "once-in-a-lifetime opportunity" to study public policy.

As far as replacements, Kasner said he wasn't interested, and the others Andonov mentioned are considering to run.

As chairman of Keep Our Doctors in Nevada, Manthei said he must evaluate whether he has time to run for the Assembly. The group has an initiative on the November ballot that would allow reform of the state's liability laws in hopes of reducing the costs of medical malpractice insurance.

But Manthei said he would focus on education as well as health care issues.

"With a growing community like we have here in Nevada, health care and education are the two most-important factors in providing a type of environment that I want my family to be in," he said.

Also on Tuesday, political novice Danny Tarkanian, a Republican, filed to run in Senate District 11, a seat now held by Democrat Mike Schneider.

Five races already have drawn four or more candidates.

Four people have filed to run against Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev: Republican Kenneth Wegner, Republican Carlos Poliak and Republican Richard Ziser.

The race to challenge Regent Tom Kirkpatrick in District 13 now includes Matthew Berkus, Jim Germain and Mitchell Tracy.

And several people hope to challenge Clark County School Board member Shirley Barber, including Ernest Del Casal, Tammy Green, Merietta Oviatt, and Richard Segerblom.

Four people hope to fill the newly created Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Department 9 seat: Joe Bonaventure, Michael Federico, Joseph Sciscento and Bernie Zadrowski.