Election filings statewide

Last-minute filings padded the top Nevada races for U.S. Senate and House on Monday and provided nearly every incumbent with at least one opponent. But most were minor party office-seekers with limited budgets and no name recognition.

But Las Vegas lawyer Ed Bernstein and former congressman John Ensign are expected to meet in the Nov. 7 general election for Richard Bryan's U.S. Senate seat. Bryan is retiring after 12 years in Washington D.C.

Ensign expects to spend up to $5 million and to use most of it against Bernstein, whose war chest is projected at about half that.

But he'll have to spend at least some to get through the Sept. 5 primary that features two other Republicans.

Bernstein had an announced opponent in Ronald Moers, but he withdrew in the final flurry to file against state Sen. Ann O'Connell.

State Sen. Jon Porter is expected to give Democratic incumbent Rep. Shelley Berkley a tough fight in District 1. In her favor is the Democratic registration advantage of her Las Vegas district and the fact that the three minor party candidates are expected to take from Porter's voter base rather than Berkley's.

In District 2, Republican Rep. Jim Gibbons faces a Democrat and five minor- party candidates in his northern and rural Nevada district. But he also has a primary race because Republican Mitchell Tracy filed at the last minute.

The two parties face about the same risk in elections for five Republican and five Democratic state Senate seats this year. With just a half-hour to go, Democrats Joe Neal and Mike Schneider were unopposed. But everyone in the Senate had at least one opponent when filing ended at 5 p.m.

Barring a major upset, the GOP is expected to keep control of the Senate where the party currently rules 12-9.

Since Democrats hold a 28-14 majority in the Assembly, they expect to easily keep control there.

in the end, three Assembly Democrats - Reno's Sheila Leslie, Mark Manendo and Harry Mortenson of Las Vegas - and one Republican, John Carpenter of Elko, were unopposed. There were a dozen with no opposition until the final 30 minutes of filing.

Kathy McClain is expected to have a tough fight to keep her seat since Jack Close, the Republican who gave it up for an unsuccessful run at the state Senate, wants it back. Both parties want the seat, which was vacated when veteran Sparks Democrat Jan Evans died.

Carson City's Bonnie Parnell faces a GOP challenge from Jeanne Simons in District 40.

Veteran lower-house Republicans John Marvel of Battle Mountain and Minority Leader Lynn Hettrick both drew opponents this time. Neither was opposed two years ago.

Marvel will have a primary battle against two others with a Democrat and a Libertarian waiting for the general. And Democrat Willie Edwards filed against Hettrick.

Two of the three Supreme Court justices up this year, Bob Rose and Myron Leavitt, have no challengers. But Nancy Becker drew two opponents: Ely prosecutor Gary Backus and Carson City lawyer Day Williams.

Three lawyers - county and federal prosecutor Will Mattly and Lyon County DA Robert Estes and Wayne Pederson - all want the new third judge's seat for Churchill and Lyon counties.

Douglas County regent Jill Derby and Las Vegas regent Dave Phillips drew no opposition. But controversial southern regent Mark Alden has two opponents this year.

Four of the six open state Board of Education seats are unopposed. But Dave Cook of Carson City has two opponents for his western Nevada seat - Michelle Trusty-Murphy and Barbara Myers.

Theresa Malone and Patricia Smith are running for seat 2G in the south.


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