Summarized by Rosemary Pollock
An LDS Man's Foray Into Politics
Las Vegas NV Review-Journal 16May00 D2
By Jane Ann Morrison: Review-Journal
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA -- Political drama is often found in last minute
surprises. In the Clark County, Nevada County Commission races,
commissioner Lance Malone saw his former campaign manager Joe Gelman
drop out of his Republican primary race to replace him with Chip
Maxfield, co-owner of Southwest Engineering, whom Gelman is now
backing. Gelman said he pulled out of Malone's contest because "too
many candidates would divide the anti-Malone vote."
Maxfield, 44, co-owner of Southwest Engineering, has never run for
political office and plans to win "through personally meeting people and
extensive grass roots." Maxfield who is a member of the Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints hopes to make inroads into the Mormon community,
which is the cornerstone of Malone's political base.
Democratic officials eye-balling the list of 210 candidates who filed in
Clark County, were most surprised by the lack of a recognizably strong GOP
opposition. "Last year, the talk was there was going to be a big,
monolithic Republican effort by Gov. Guinn and [U.S. Senate candidate] John
Ensign to recruit Republican candidates for every race. But I just haven't
seen the results of their big recruiting efforts," said Nevada Democratic
Party Chairman Rory Reid.
Ryan Erwin, who is the executive director of the Republican Party of
Nevada, said, "I'd rather win eight seats and win the majority than come
close in 15," he said. Party officials acknowledged that they didn't want
to throw money away on races they didn't think they could win.
Assemblyman Bob Beers, R-Las Vegas hoped minority party candidates would
have an impact on some of the close races this year. "In Nevada, minor
parties tend to come from the conservative side of the political spectrum,"
Stephanie Smith filed at 4 p.m. against fellow Democrat County
Commissioner Kincaid. She was unaccompanied by the Culinary Union members
who are expected to be among her strongest supporters. She received the
union's backing after Kincaid opposed the labor position on the Wal-Mart
issue that allowed Wal-Mart to build a superstore in the county.
Maxfield, 44, explained why he entered the race. "I disagree with his
[Malone's] Airportgate, his Spring Valley casino vote, and he hasn't worked
as hard as I would have for a middle school in the Northwest."