Republicans Bob Lucey and Mike Clark face off in Washoe County District 2

The deadliest local primary race this year may be between Republicans Mike Clark and Bob Lucey for Washoe County Commission, District 2.

The two went to court to see if Clark could stay on the ballot after a problem with Clark’s nomination papers that stemmed from the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles unexpectedly changing his party affiliation as a nonpartisan after 50 years as a Republican. The judge said Clark could stay in the race and on the ballot.

Then a Robert Beadles-funded PAC sent postcards to Washoe County residents — even those who can’t vote in the closed primary — featuring unsubstantiated personal attacks on Lucey as well as a person who won. a temporary protective order in 2021 against Clark. This TPO is still in effect against Clark.

Clark said he had no connection with the postcard.

“None,” he said in a call with the RGJ. “Someone showed it to me, but I didn’t get it in the mail and I don’t know.”

District 2 — which covers most of South Reno to Washoe Valley — tends to lean Republican, so the primary winner would stand a strong chance of winning in the general election.

That said, this gap could narrow. Lucey beat her Democratic challenger by 64-36% of the vote in 2014 but only 54-46% in 2018.

This time, the winner of the Republican primary will face two opponents in November: Democrat Keith Lockard and Libertarian David Michael Banuelos.

Below is a comparison of candidates’ abbreviated responses to a handful of questions. Read more about Clark here and Lucey here.

  • Age: 70
  • To party: Republican
  • Family situation: Alone
  • Day job: Washoe County Assessor
  • Education: Some college
  • How long have you lived in your neighborhood? : 17 years
  • Political experience: Two terms as assessor

  • Age: 43
  • To party: Republican
  • Family: Married with two children aged 8 and 4
  • day job: Owner of a veterinary practice
  • Education: Bachelor’s degree in biology
  • How long have you lived in your neighborhood: 42 years old
  • Political experience: Two terms as Washoe County Commissioner

What is the main problem for your constituents?

Clark: The #1 problem that should be front and center for everyone is the homeless problem we have here. Some might say it’s being taken care of now, but I don’t see any improvement from year to year. It seems to be the same revolving door that doesn’t really change. I would like to see a census to get an idea of ​​how many people we have there and then investigate which of those people have mental health issues and how that can be addressed.

Lucy : I think the #1 issue we’ve heard about is economic recovery in Washoe County. It’s about a number of different things: infrastructure needs like roads and transportation, affordable housing, public safety with EMS and fires, and then social issues like mental health and homelessness.

If your district received an unexpected $10 million, what would you spend it on?

Clark: An extra $10 million could make a big difference in the lives of many people: restaurant workers, small businesses, struggling homeowners, struggling tenants, struggling seniors – these are the areas I would focus on for help as many people as possible with this money.

Lucy : As we emerge from the pandemic, the accessibility of technology – whether wireless or fiber connections – is the type of project I would like to work on. And there are other needs in the county: EMS, more officers on the roads, and more reliable fire departments, as we experience greater wildfire danger in this suburban-rural interface.

If you had a magic wand and could stop the county from doing one thing, what would it be?

Clark: If I could stop anything, it’s the suppression of information. I would make the county much more transparent. I would make it much easier to get the public records. I would make it much easier for the public to attend meetings. I would organize rotating evening meetings, which I think would help workers who cannot take a day off to come and see the process in action. There are many big cities like San Jose that hold evening meetings so the public can really participate in the process.

Lucy : We govern in too many councils and silos. We have the Western Regional Water Commission, TMWA, a flood board – we have all these siled boards that should be one board overseeing water resources. He should oversee water planning, storm water and flood projects. We are spending more time studying the issues than just responding to them and returning those tax revenues to citizens who pay property taxes.

What is the county doing about homelessness that you would like them to stop doing?

Clark: Is the county CARES campus (emergency homeless shelter) a mental health facility? A big part of the homelessness problem is a mental health issue – and then you cram all these people into a facility like they have there. It’s a scary place. It’s a bit like survival of the fittest. How is the county prepared to handle this? Is the county a licensed mental health facility? I don’t know, but I’d love to investigate this.

Lucy : I wish the county would stop providing a revolving door. I understand the need for low barrier shelters and I understand the need to provide services to homeless people. However, what I think we need to focus more on — and I think we’ve taken the first steps — is developing programs that get people results beyond prosecution and jail for the offenses. I would like to see us create more programs like we did at Our Place for families and women. I would like to see more programs for people with mental health.

Does Washoe County have a water problem?

Clark: Well, it doesn’t take a hydrologist to figure that out. We live in a desert, and we seem to have increasingly dry winters, less and less precipitation. We used to have really good monsoon rains in the summer, and that hardly happens anymore. We have the potential for water scarcity, if we haven’t already reached it.

Lucy : In Northern Nevada – and Nevada as a whole – water is more precious than gold, in my opinion. So we need to invest more in more innovative strategies for using our reclaimed water and working with the university’s Nevada Water Innovation Institute. With our sewage treatment plants, instead of just pumping that water out, we either have to find strategies to use reinjection wells or find proper uses for our parks.

Will you accept the official election results in your race as determined by the Washoe County Registrar of Electors?

Clark: Sure.

Lucy : Absolutely. I stood at each election count and certified the last four I was able to sit on. There is always room for improvement on any system. Elections are an integral part of democracy in our country. However, we need to do a better job of maintaining voter lists. But, yeah, I think Washoe County did a great election job.

Do you think Joe Biden is the duly elected President of the United States?

clark: I have no personal knowledge of who won this election. I did not participate in any counting or electoral process.

Lucy: I respect the office, and I respect the will of the voters. Yes, he is the duly elected president.

Mark Robison covers local government for the Reno Gazette-Journal, as well as Fact Checker and Ask the RGJ articles. Its position is supported by donations and grants. As such, all the journalism it publishes will be made available free of charge without concern for commercial return. If you would like to see more articles like this, please consider sharing this article or donating at

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