Three plot twists from the 2018 primary elections in Northern Nevada

Three oddities from the 2018 primary elections in Northern Nevada

At the federal and statewide level, there weren't many surprises in Nevada's primary election Tuesday night.

Dean Heller and Jacky Rosen will face off in a critical U.S. Senate race, and, as expected, Adam Laxalt will square off against Steve Sisolak for the Governor's mansion.

But local election results in Washoe County came with a few plot twists:


Jacqueline Calvert and Jeff Church advanced to the general election in the race for WCSD Board of Trustees District F.

Ryan Gonda, who had the endorsement of outgoing trustee Veronica Frenkel, was eliminated after he only got 31 percent of the vote.

Gonda had raised over $14,000 this election cycle compared to $1,250 for Jeff Chuch and $0 for Jacqueline Calvert, according to Nevada Secretary of State records.

In a phone interview, Frenkel told News 4-Fox 11 that she was surprised by the results, and suspected that Gonda's last name may have played a factor.

Frenkel said some voters who might be unfamiliar with school board candidates simply vote for the first name on the ballot, and that Gonda may have suffered as a result.

District B, the other school board race on the ballot Tuesday, was decided by just 37 votes.


Thanks to an unusual rule, all Sparks City Council races and the Mayor's race have already been settled.

The "50 percent plus one vote" rule, which applies to some nonpartisan races, means that a candidate wins the race outright if they get over 50 percent of the vote in the primary election.

Sparks Councilman Ron Smith, who has been serving as Mayor pro tempore, earned 61 percent of the vote Tuesday night, meaning he will be Sparks' next mayor without the need for a general election.

Councilwoman Charlene Bybee got 71 percent of the vote in her re-election bid, securing her council seat in the primary.

Councilman Ed Lawson ran unopposed, so he will win his seat back in November.

Smith told News 4-Fox 11 that he will be sworn in as Sparks Mayor on November 13, then appoint someone to fill his empty city council seat.


Reno Councilman Paul Mackenzie (Ward 4) will advance to the November general election, but his challenger made a strong showing Tuesday night.

Bonnie Weber, former Washoe County Commissioner and RTC chairwoman, earned 53 percent of the primary vote.

McKenzie, who was elected to the Reno City Council in 2014, got just 42 percent of the vote on Tuesday, setting up what could be a tight race in the general election.

Councilwoman Naomi Duerr advanced to the general election with a healthy lead over her two challengers.

She will face Joe Lawrence in the November general, who received 30 percent of the vote on Tuesday, compared to 57 percent for Duerr.

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