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Find out who’s who at judicial forum

October 3, 2018

LAUGHLIN — Voters will have the chance to get to know judicial candidates better by attending the Laughlin Judicial Candidates Forum at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 17, in the cafeteria at Bennett Elementary School, 2750 Needles Highway.

Town constable Jordan Ross is encouraging the public to attend.

“These are the courts that handle serious cases,” said Ross. This event is for the Nevada Supreme Court and Nevada District Court candidates.

The District Court makes decisions on trial felonies, gross misdemeanors, appeals from the justice court and on criminal and civil cases if there is $15,000 or more at stake, said Ross.

The primary responsibility of the Supreme Court is to review and rule on appeals from District Court cases. The Supreme Court has seven justices.

Candidates running for the supreme court include Elissa Cadish and Jerry Tao for Seat C; Abbi Silver for Seat F; and Mathew Harter and Lidia Stiglich for Seat G.

District Court candidates include Tierra Jones for Department 10. Mark Bailus and Mary Kay Holthus are running for Department 18 and David Jones is running for Department 29.

As of Sept. 28, Ross reported Cadish confirmed her attendance at the forum. More judges are expected to attend this event.

“It’s unusual for so many seats to be up for reelection on the (state) Supreme Court,” said Ross.

“This is an important event because Laughlin has long been known to push candidates,” he said. “Laughlin has a disproportionately high turnout for voters and candidates are aware, so if they are in a tight race, they know Laughlin can make a difference,” he continued.

Ross reported Laughlin can have voter turnout in excess of 60 percent and effect close races. He noted the time when Dr. Joe Heck won his election for State Assembly.

Ross first organized the judicial candidates forum in 2008. The first one in the auditorium of the junior senior high school and it went well, he said. His only concerns is the junior senior high school is a little off the beaten path. It’s a little more difficult to get to if someone doesn’t have transportation so he moved the forum to the elementary school, he added.

“The cafeteria works well,” said Ross. “People are more likely to attend if they can get to it.”

People look at the ballot and the average voter doesn’t know who the candidates are from Adam, said Ross. Many people don’t spend a lot of time around the legal side and so they don’t get to know candidates,” he added.

The forum is meant to give voters a chance to see who the candidates are, get to know their qualifications and to generally be more informed about those candidates prior to voting, said Ross. It’s a chance for voters to better understand what the judges do and how it impacts voters.

Ross said in the past the forum has been well attended. There was a healthy turnout of about 100 people in 2014.

“I’m doing this again this year because having done the first one I had a personal investment and wanted it to be successful,” said Ross. “I wanted to make it comfortable for all by having it done in as neutral of fashion as possible.”

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