Two Sparks Mayoral Candidates Advance to General Election - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Two Sparks Mayoral Candidates Advance to General Election

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Sparks Mayor Geno Martini Sparks Mayor Geno Martini
Gene Newhall Gene Newhall
Sparks Mayor Geno Martini won his primary election in a landslide, Tuesday night -- getting 76% of the vote. But questions remained whether he has to run in the general election or not since he received more than 50% of the vote.

Mayor Geno Martini will runn against challenger Gene Newhall, this fall despite winning 76% of the vote in the Primary Election. State law says a candidate wins the seat if he or she gets the majority of votes. But that law is inconsistent with the Sparks City Charter -- that establishes that a primary election is not intended to substitute for the General Election. "Sparks City Charter is a piece of legislation passed by the Nevada Legislature for the specific purposes of governing the City of Sparks," says Adams.

Adams says the city charter prevails because it was passed by the legislature.

The charter says the top two candidates running for mayor, city attorney, municipal judge, and city council must appear on the ballot for the General Election.

"I know our attorneys have looked at it before, several times as far as I know because this has come up many, many times before," says Geno Martini.

Adams first wrote his interpretation after former Sparks Mayor Tony Armstrong won nearly 56% of the vote in 1999. Martini took 66% four years ago.

Both times, they were challenged in the General Election.

"It takes a lot of time, a lot of effort and fundraising and all that stuff. So, if I didn't have to run again, that would be a bonus for me. That's for darn sure."

Washoe County had a 23% voter turnout, yesterday, but some say the general election could have a different outcome because there will be more voters.

"We always encourage the voters' participation in all of our elections and I think that was the intent behind our special legislation."

The city charter says the top two candidates have to be on the General Election ballot.

Martini says the City of Sparks is heading in the right direction. He thinks voters have taken notice and that's why he won 76% of the vote. Newhall received 16% of the vote yesterday.

Written by Paul Nelson
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