There are a lot of happening in the world of politics right now as we enter the 2020 election cycle. Most of the hubbub is surrounding the candidates vying for the presidential position, but there’s a lot happening on the local level, too.
In Sparks alone, there will be three vacancies in city council seats for Wards 1,3, and 5 as well as an opening for the city attorney spot and Municipal Court Judge Department 1. The judicial candidate filing period began on Jan. 6 and is open through the 17th; anyone interested in filing an application for the next 6-year term should do so through the Sparks City Clerk’s office on 431 Prater Way (there is a $30 filing fee).
The Sparks non-judicial candidate filing period will take place March 2-13 for the three board seats and city attorney position. Here’s a snapshot on the people who hold the current titles and their plans for re-election:
Current City Attorney, Chet Adams: When the filing period opens on March 2, current City of Sparks Attorney Chet Adams does plan on filing for re-election.
“We’ve got a good police department, fire department, and a new city man ager who has done an excellent job in his role. So, with all of the great things going on here, how could I not want to run for the City of Sparks?” he ponders. Adams moved to Sparks in 1991 and was inducted into office in 1994, serving more than a quarter of a century in his role as city attorney. The City Attorney’s office just put together a 5-year plan/historic documentation showing the City of Sparks’ role in mitigating lawsuits (or the lack thereof), therefore he hasn’t thought about his re-election, Adams says that he’s got a good group of volunteers lined up to mobilize if he does draw an opponent in this year’s race.
Adams is also a big supporter in keeping the City Attorney an elected position rather than appointed by the city council (thus protecting voters’ rights), an issue that came up in the November 2018 midterm election. Titled City of Sparks Advisory Question (SP1), Sparks residents overwhelming voted “yes” to keep it an elected position by 81.29 percent.
“We’re all about serving the people here in Sparks and I support having an independent city attorney,” Adams says.
Current City Council Member for Ward 1, Donald Abbott: Born and raised in Sparks, City Councilman Donald Abbott was first elected to a 4-year term in November 2016, replacing current Nevada State Senator Julia Ratti and is the youngest person to serve on the Sparks City Council. Abbott plans on re-running for his City Council seat representing Ward 1 this year and will be hosting a fundraiser for his re-election on Feb. 26 at 5 p.m. at Pinion Bottle Co. on 1130 Avenue of the Oaks in downtown Sparks. He’ll be offering a Sparks Passport that encourages people to visit his other favorite downtown Sparks venues including Mari Chuy’s Mexican Kitchen, Galaxy movie theatre, and Engine 8 Urban Winery, all within walking distance. For a $30 entry fee (part of Abbott’s “30 for 30” campaign celebrating Abbott’s 30th birthday), attendees will also receive special goodies from these participating sponsors as a thanks for the support.
Current City Council Member for Ward 3, Paul Anderson: Current mayor Ron Smith appointed Paul Anderson to fill his seat representing Ward 3 back in December 2018, therefore serving on the Sparks City Council for a year. He has lived in Sparks for more than 30 years and also acts as an account executive with Pilot Thomas Logistics. He couldn’t be reached in time for publication, but rumor has it that he plans on re-running to keep his city council seat.
Current City Council Member for Ward 5, Kristopher Dahir: Like Donald Abbott, current City Councilman Kristopher Dahir was also elected to his first term in November 2016 to represent the Sparks residents in Ward 5. Dahir has lived in Sparks for more than 36 years and is known for his extensive community service, acting as a founding board member for 39 North Downtown and a member of the Nevada Veterans Memorial Board. Dahir intends to file an application in March to keep his Ward 5 seat; for more information about his focus and endorsements visit https://www.kristopherdahir.com/.
Information for Voters/Dates to Mark on the Calendar
Keep in mind that Primary Election Day is June 9, 2020 and early voting will be held May 23-June 5. If you’re out of town during that time and need an absentee ballot, be sure to request it no later than May 26 and it must be postmarked by June 9 to be counted.
The big General Election Day is slated for Nov. 3 with early voting taking place October 17-30. Absentee voters must request their ballots by Oct. 20 and their votes have to be postmarked by Nov. 3.
Visit https://www.washoecounty.us/voters/ to find your voting location or request an absentee ballot.
New Through Washoe County: Adopt a Polling Place and Earn Money for Charity
The Washoe County Registrar of Voters also just introduced a new “Adopt A Polling Place” program that allows local businesses, nonprofits, schools, and civic community groups (as long as they are not affiliated with any political group) to earn money by working the polls on Election Day. For more information, visit the Washoe County website.