Policy: Law

2 Nevada Supreme Court justices face no opposition

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Politics,Associated Press,Campaigns,Nevada,Law

CARSON CITY, Nev. — Nevada Supreme Court Justices Mark Gibbons and Kristina Pickering won free rides to re-election when no one filed to run against them by Friday's deadline.

Twenty-one of 52 Clark County District Court judges and 10 of 15 Washoe County District Court candidates also are running unopposed for six-year terms, as are both Carson City District Court judges.

It's the third straight election that Supreme Court justices will run unopposed.

Among other factors, political analysts attribute the lack of candidates to the high cost of statewide elections and the lack of controversy on the court. Also, the justices' $170,000-a-year base salary is often lower than what lawyers at major firms can earn, analysts say.

In the state's most populous county, embattled Clark County Family Court Judge Steven Jones has drawn five opponents, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported. Jones has been suspended from the bench in Las Vegas while he awaits trial on fraud charges.

Jones filed for re-election on Tuesday, three weeks after the Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline found he committed misconduct by presiding over the cases of prosecutor Lisa Willardson while they were dating.

Jones found Willardson, 45, dead in her bathroom Dec. 26, the same day the panel's decision became public. A cause of death is pending.

Jones was suspended with pay in November 2012 amid accusations he used the power of his office to carry out a $3 million investment fraud scheme.

In Nevada's second most populous county, Washoe County Commissioner David Humke and Reno attorney John Springgate are vying for the post now held by Family Court Judge Linda Gardner, the Reno Gazette-Journal reported.

"It's a good fit for me," said Humke, who was termed out this year as a commissioner.

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