LivingTravelWho will be the next mayor of Reno?

Who will be the next mayor of Reno?

Update : Current information on the 2014 Reno mayoral election is available at “Reno Mayor Election 2014.”

Potential replacements for Reno Mayor Bob Cashell are already running for the job, despite the fact that the next general election is not until November 2014. Here’s a look at some of the candidates that may emerge as top candidates. contenders when the actual fundraiser and the campaign will begin (which will be sooner than most of us would like).

This will be an important choice

If you moved to Reno in 2002 or later, you haven’t met a mayor other than Bob Cashell. In fact, he didn’t know of any other Reno City Council, until 2012, when all but two members were replaced due to term limits. Those two will also be appointed in 2014. With a new mayor and a new set of council members, there will surely be changes in how things are done and what priorities are set. It will definitely be different. How different, and where we go from here, will depend on who we choose to lead the Reno government for years to come.

About current mayor Bob Cashell

Reno mayors serve four-year terms. Robert “Bob” Cashell was first elected in 2002 and re-elected in the subsequent two elections in 2006 and 2010. Previous elected positions include the University of Nevada System Board of Regents and a term as Lieutenant Governor of Nevada. His private business is Cashell Enterprises, a hotel / casino / resort management company.

Cashell came to the mayor’s office promising to put an end to the fragmentary nature of the city hall and managed to do so. Major accomplishments during his tenure include the Community Assistance Center for the Homeless and Residents in Need, the ReTRAC Train Trench through downtown Reno, the Reno Events Center, and the Reno Aces Ballpark. Truckee River Whitewater Park in Wingfield was completed during Cashell’s first term, but much of the groundwork was done under former Mayor Jeff Griffin.

Possible mayor of Reno Candidates

The names of a few well-known local politicians have appeared as potential candidates in the 2014 Reno mayoral election. You’ve probably heard of most of them if you’ve paid attention to Reno politics in recent years.

Jessica Sferrazza fired her seat on the Ward 3 Reno City Council in 2012. She was a Democratic candidate for Lieutenant Governor of Nevada in the 2012 general election and lost to incumbent Brian Krolicki. According to a June 2013 article in the Reno Gazette-Journal (RGJ), Sferrazza is the only person who openly claims that he is preparing to run for mayor of Reno.

Dwight Dortch and Sharon Zadra are on the Reno City Council and both will be appointed in 2014. Neither has ruled out a bid for the mayor’s office, nor have they publicly indicated that they will surely enter the race. We wait and see about these two. Dortch currently represents room 4 and Zadra represents room 2.

Dave Aiazzi was another Reno City Council member who was fired from his Ward 5 position in 2012. He was subsequently elected to the Washoe County School Board, District E. Aiazzi has not declared his candidacy, but the article by Reno Gazette-Journal said a domain name search revealed that it has registered Interestingly, it has also registered some domain names related to potential opponents in the upcoming elections:,, and I checked and it’s true.

This seems a bit strange and the RGJ was unable to reach Aiazzi for comment.

How the Reno Mayor and City Council elections work

Mayor – Reno City mayoral elections are conducted directly. In primary elections, the field of candidates is reduced to the two main candidates. Voters then select the final winner in the general election. Candidates stand before all registered voters in the city during both elections. The mayor is technically a nonpartisan office. Candidates do not run under the banner of a party, but the political persuasions of the candidates are never a secret. The mayor serves as a voting member of the Reno City Council, with additional duties as the city’s chief political representative.

City Hall – Reno City Council elections are held in an unusual way compared to most other cities in the country. During the primary elections, the two candidates who will face each other in the general elections are only voted on by the residents in the neighborhood they seek to represent. In general elections, the finalists go before voters from across the city. This agreement has long been questioned because it possibly violates the federal Voting Rights Act, an opinion expressed by the Reno city attorney.

It also makes it difficult for candidates who lack strong financial backing from various interest groups to fund a city-wide campaign rather than a less expensive neighborhood-specific campaign. A bill to change the system to a neighborhood vote passed the 77th Regular Session of the Nevada Legislature, but was vetoed by Governor Brian Sandoval.

Sources: Reno Gazette-Journal, City of Reno.

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