Indiana, Nevada Mayoral Elections Top Tuesday’s Card With AM-Aspen Election Bjt
Undated (AP) _ Mayoral primaries in Indiana and Nevada, a debate over the ″Mercedes- Benz ″ crowd at a Colorado ski resort and a proposal to limit waterfront development in Portland, Maine, are among the items facing voters in balloting Tuesday.
Richard G. Hatcher, seeking a sixth term as mayor of Gary, faces charges he is responsible for a crumbling city, while Indianapolis Mayor William Hudnut is expected to win nomination easily for a fourth term in Indiana primaries.
In Nevada, a crowded field of 11 candidates turned the normally sedate Las Vegas mayor’s race into a crap shoot, with hopefuls ranging from a casino owner to a former prostitute trying to advance to a June runoff.
In Reno, a sparsely financed incumbent squares off against a challenger who says he has more than he can spend in an eight-way primary. Mayor Pete Sferrazza has collected $15,515 compared to Bob Galli’s $97,878.
Hatcher, the nation’s longest serving black mayor, has run Gary’s government since 1967. His opponent, township assessor Thomas V. Barnes, who also is black and once supported Hatcher, says Gary is crumbling, Hatcher is responsible, and the voters see it.
Gary’s tax base has eroded from $490 million in 1980 to $460 million, but Hatcher said the city ranks as the nation’s eighth-fastest-growing metropolitan area in terms of construction.
In the state capital, Hudnut is expected to win handily over challenger James W. Black. The popular Hudnut was first elected in 1975, and seven Democrats are battling for a chance to face him in November’s general election. In other contests Tuesday:
- In Jacksonville, Fla., former state Reps. John Lewis and Tommy Hazouri meet in a Democratic mayoral runoff. The winner will meet Republican City Councilman Henry Cook in a May 26 election to replace Democrat Jake Godbold, who cannot run again after serving two four-year terms.
- In Lincoln, Neb., Mayor Roland Leudtke faces a tough fight against State Sen. Bill Harris as he seeks a second four-year term. The race is officially non-partisan, although Leudtke is a Republican and Harris is a Democrat.
- In Portland, Maine, a proposed ban on all non-marine development along the waterfront has generated heated debte. Community groups fear that condominiums and other development will drive up property values and taxes, squeezing out long-time residents and the marine industry.
- In Aspen, Colo., resentment over a ski company’s decision to raise day lift-ticket prices from $29 to $35 and cater to ″the Mercedes-Benz crowd″ has spilled over into Tuesday’s elections. The mayoralty and two city council seats are up for grabs.
In Las Vegas, Mayor Bill Briare’s decision to step down after 12 years attracted a diverse group of candidates. Political observers feel only four of the 11 have any prospect to get into the two-way June 2 runoff.
City Councilman Ron Lurie, the mayor pro tem, was the early favorite, along with Thalia Dondero, a Clark County commissioner. Tom Wiesner, a former county commissioner and resort landlord, is thought to have an outside chance.
The real wild card is Bob Stupak, a self-proclaimed rags-to-riches success who claims he amassed personal wealth of $54 million while building the Vegas World Resort just off the Las Vegas Strip.
Dorothy Rolfe, a former prostitute who lost a bid for county sheriff last year, is not given much chance. Another fringe candidate has proposed building a park for winos to keep them out of other public parks.
In Reno, Sferrazza said Galli, a former county sheriff, relied largely on developers for his money. Galli says the mayor got half his money from hotel- casino interests and says people are tired of lack of leadership.
Other candidates include businessman Don Thompson, an anti-abortion crusader, a tire store owner, a craps dealer, a cosmetologist and former belly dancer and a 102-year-old retired hotel operator, Elizabeth Bessie Smith.
Tuesday’s top two vote-getters will square off in the June 2 general election.