By Tray Abney
The last day to register to vote is October 18, 2018. Early voting starts on October 20 and lasts for two weeks. And the big day is November 6.
What’s at stake? As you know, Governor Brian Sandoval is term-limited after entering office eight years ago with Nevada in the depths of the Great Recession and presiding over a resurgence of industry diversity, and job and population growth.
The Governor has endorsed neither of the gentlemen running to replace him, even though Democratic candidate Steve Sisolak is running ads embracing his education policies! Republican candidate Adam Laxalt’s platform includes support for repealing the commerce tax, but no one thinks that is a realistic option, given that most observers expect the Nevada State Assembly and Senate to be run by Democrats.
On the state legislative level, Democrats are aiming to be two-thirds of the building, thereby giving them a veto-proof majority that renders whoever the Governor is irrelevant.
If business owners like stability (and I have it on pretty good authority that they do), they should be pleased that our local governments won’t see too much change. The Sparks City Council has already been decided, and the Washoe County Commission is pretty close to set. The only real nail-biter this year is Reno City Councilman Paul McKenzie’s fight to keep his seat from falling into the hands of former Washoe County Commissioner Bonnie Weber (who received more votes than McKenzie in the June primary)!
Finally, voters will be able to decide on six statewide ballot questions (although you can be forgiven if you have only heard about Question 3, the one dealing with energy choice) and one local question that would raise our property taxes to pay for flood control along the Truckee River.
Senator Dean Heller is in the fight of his life, as he is the only Republican incumbent senator running for re-election in a state that Hillary Clinton won in 2016. This seat could change the balance of power in the Senate.
Overall, you will find that every line of the ballot will affect you in some way. The U.S. Senate race could determine future tax policy and the various regulatory agency heads. Our next governor and legislature could decide to revisit the dozens of vetoes that Governor Sandoval issued on such things as minimum wage, paid sick leave and employment discrimination lawsuits.
Your local governments determine where and how you can build businesses, whether we can expand our limited housing supply and the conditions of the roads that we all drive on. And of course, the outcome of the energy choice and flood questions could determine your power rates and whether or not runways are too flooded to allow for commercial air and cargo service.
Register to vote and find your precinct and voting location. Get engaged. Get your employees engaged. Vote.
I won’t hit you with the “it’s the most important election in our lifetime” cliché. But this election WILL affect your ability to hire people and maintain our excellent quality of life.
If you have any questions about the various ballot questions or any of the races mentioned above, please do not hesitate to contact the Abney Tauchen Group.