I closed my TV show last Friday predicting that in today’s Tribune, I would end the political career of a Democratic candidate, and I wasn’t kidding.
Marc Deal, you’re outta here.
Mr. Deal is the only Democratic candidate on the ballot in sprawling Assembly District 32, which goes from eastern Sparks and the northern valleys all the way to long-time Assemblyman John Marvel’s house in Battle Mountain, 3.5 counties away. (Can you say “gerrymander?”)
In addition to Mr. Marvel, five other Republicans filed along with one candidate from the Hansen-Wallace Moonhowler Party.
Mr. Deal’s candidacy is illegal and his name must be removed from the ballot.
Records at the Washoe County Voter Registrar’s office show that Mr. Deal was a registered Republican through the 2006 election, a year in which he did not vote. Failing to vote did not negate his registration. He voted as a Republican in 2004.
Nevada Revised Statute 293.176 states, “No person may be a candidate of a major political party for partisan office in any election if he has changed: (a) The designation of his political party affiliation; or (b) His designation of political party from nonpartisan to a designation of a political party affiliation, on an application to register to vote in the State of Nevada or in any other state during the time beginning on December 31 preceding the closing filing date for that election and ending on the date of that election whether or not his previous registration was still effective at the time of the change in party designation.”
Records at the registrar’s office indicate that Mr. Deal re-registered as a Democrat at the party caucuses in January. His new affiliation was not entered into the system until March, as it was part of more than 8,000 new Democrats produced by the presidential beauty contest.
If Mr. Deal wanted to seek office as a Democrat, he needed to have changed his registration last year. He did not. He’s out.
The Democrats need to find a new candidate in that race, but the process is very cumbersome because it’s a multi-county district.
Nevada Revised Statute 293.166 states, “A vacancy occurring in a party nomination for the office of State Senator or Assemblyman from a legislative district comprising more than one county may be filled as follows: The county commissioners of each county, all or part of which is included within the legislative district, shall meet to appoint a person who is of the same political party as the former nominee and who actually, as opposed to constructively, resides in the district to fill the vacancy, under the chairmanship of the chairman of the board of county commissioners of the county whose population residing within the district is the greatest. Each board of county commissioners shall first meet separately and determine the single candidate it will nominate to fill the vacancy. Then, the boards shall meet jointly and the chairmen on behalf of the boards shall cast a proportionate number of votes according to the percent, rounded to the nearest whole percent, which the population of its county is of the population of the entire district. Populations must be determined by the last decennial census or special census conducted by the Bureau of the Census of the United States Department of Commerce. The person who receives a plurality of these votes is appointed to fill the vacancy. If no person receives a plurality of the votes, the boards of county commissioners of the respective counties shall each as a group select one candidate, and the nominee must be chosen by drawing lots among the persons so selected. No change may be made on the ballot after the first Tuesday after the primary election of the year in which the general election is held. If a nominee dies after that date, his name must remain on the ballot and, if elected, a vacancy exists.”
If not high drama, this has the makings of great comedy. The Washoe County Commission, comprised of four Republicans and one freshman Democrat, would have the maximum clout in naming a new Democratic nominee. I guarantee you that they will choose the weakest available candidate.
It gets worse for the Republicans. Venerable Assemblyman Marvel is in very poor health. Even if he wins the primary in the lopsidedly Republican district, he may not be able to serve. When it comes to filling a vacancy, commissioners will first look to the runner-up in the primary. So, second place to Marvel this August may be very valuable indeed.
The strongest contenders are Mike Weber, a believer in government by the Christian Bible (see the Barbwire of Oct. 13, 2002, at Barbwire.US) and husband of Washoe County Commissioner Bonnie Weber, and investment counselor Glenn Dawson, who has amassed a huge warchest. (Mr. Dawson was briefly a commercial public relations client of mine about 10 years ago.)
Mr. Deal may be this year’s Marvel Ringer.
A few elections back, Mr. Marvel’s minions put a ringer into the Democratic primary. She told her opponent that she would not campaign, that she wasn’t really interested in getting elected, and that she would endorse him after the primary. She beat the guy who wanted the job, then rolled over and played dead in the general election and Mr. Marvel coasted to victory.
I suspect that Mr. Deal may be part of the same old-fashioned, skullduggerous and quite effective election strategy, which has now blown up.
Since multi-county candidates must file with the secretary of state in Carson City, it’s his job to make sure candidates are legally qualified. Looks like Mr. Deal dropped through the bureaucratic cracks.
His filing caused a real Democrat to withdraw from the race after seeing the party ticket filled.
Thanks to everyone who participated in last week’s launch of what may well be the first marriage of talk radio, talk TV and webcast webchat. The show will probably move to cable channel 200 pending the next lineup shakeup a couple of months from now when Charter Communications again juggles the numbers as the system moves to full digital.
You may also tune in online at Barbwire.TV from 2 to 4 p.m. Monday thru Friday. The phone number is 682-4144.
Tune in, turn on and tell a friend.
Be well. Raise hell.
Andrew Barbano is a 39-year Nevadan and editor of NevadaLabor.com. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Tribune since 1988.