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Education Is A Hot Topic For Voters On Primary Election Day

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Nevada’s primary election is in full swing. Reno Public Radio’s Anh Gray was at one polling site—Reno High School—to learn more about what issues Washoe County voters are concerned about.

Education. This is one of the hot button issues that came up quite a bit from voters including Andrew Ross, the father of two young kids. He says he’s worried about the reputation of the school district.

“If we’re going to present Northern Nevada, and Washoe County, in particular, as a place where we want businesses, business owners to move," Ross says, "I think we need to make a more exerted effort to make our school district a highlight, something that will appeal to them as they bring their businesses, as they bring their employment here.”

Another voter, Ryan Smith, has lived in Washoe County for more than three decades.

“Some of the schools are too overcrowded and they’re in disrepair," Smith says, "and they need some updating and additional funds to be able to do that.”

Right now, Washoe County has 19 people running for the four open school board seats. Candidates have a broad range of professional experiences as realtors, current and former teachers, and even the school district’s chief auditor. Only one seat has an incumbent.

Political scientist Fred Lokken is with Truckee Meadows Community College. He says in such a crowded field, the outcome for those races is unpredicatable.

“I think we’ll be in for a lot of surprises to be honest," Lokken says. "We will probably see a few more well-knowns get through probably because they’re well-known and they’re respected, but we’ll have some new faces, and that should make for a very good campaign in the fall.”

The top two candidates garnering the most votes for each seat will advance to the November election.  But any candidate garnering more than 50 percent of the votes in the primary would win the seat they’re running for out right, and a general election for that race would be canceled.

Anh is a contributing editor for the KUNR news team and has been with the station since 2014. She is an alumna of the Boston University School of Public Health and Teachers College, Columbia University.
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