Home>Articles>Three Candidates Demand Recount In June Primary, File Temporary Restraining Orders

Female hand casts a ballot as she votes for the local elections at a polling station. (Photo: Damir Sencar/Shutterstock)

Three Candidates Demand Recount In June Primary, File Temporary Restraining Orders

Candidates Lily Baran, Mark Lawson, and Paul White have partnered with Robert Beadles who paid $150,000 for the three recounts in their respective races

By Megan Barth, June 28, 2024 11:47 am

The June primary election is being challenged by three candidates in Washoe County who have paid for a recount of their respective races and have now filed temporary restraining orders against numerous individuals and state entities, including the City of Reno. Washoe County, and the Washoe County Registrars office.

Lily Baran, Candidate for Ward 1, City of Reno (Photo: Lily Baran campaign)

Progressive activist and Reno city council Ward 1 contender Lily Baran partnered with outspoken election critic Robert Beadles and his Franklin Project PAC to demand a recount of the election results which determined she had lost the chance to advance to the general election by 15 votes. Republican candidate for Washoe County Commissioner Mark Lawson and Washoe County School Board Trustee candidate Paul White have also partnered with Beadles. According to a report by Channel 4 news, Beadles wrote three $50,000 checks to the county for the costs associated with the recount.

Former Sparks Fire Chief, Mark Lawson, GOP Candidate for Washoe County Commission (Channel 4 news)

In a statement on his Operation Sunlight blog, Beadles said:

The law is clear: the candidates are allowed a hand count and inspection of each ballot. What are these officials really doing?

The recount(s) were paid in full, at no cost to the taxpayers, state, or county. Why are they trying so hard to keep these candidates from seeing the ballots?

These officials all want us to trust them, but doing things like this makes it impossible for people of any party to trust them.

They have the media running cover for them, trying to paint this as some kind of right-wing attempt to cast doubt on the elections. When really, the only people who are casting doubt on the elections are the people who are supposedly in charge of them.

Candidate for Washoe County School Board District G, At-Large. (Photo provided by Paul White)

Following the payment for the recount, temporary restraining orders were filed yesterday by the three candidates against the following officials and state entities:

  • CARI ANN BURGESS, individually and in her official capacity as Registrar of Voters
  • MIKKI HUNTSMAN, individually and in her capacity as city clerk for the City of Reno
  • CITY OF RENO, NEVADA, a political subdivision of the state of Nevada
  • WASHOE COUNTY REGISTRAR OF VOTERS, a government agency
  • ERIC BROWN, individually and in his official capacity as Washoe County Manager
  • ALEXIS HILL, individually and in her official capacity as Chairwoman of the Washoe County Board of Commissioners
  • WASHOE COUNTY, a political subdivision of the state of Nevada
  • FRANCISCO AGUILAR, individually and in his official capacity as Secretary of State
  • NEVADA SECRETARY OF STATE, a political subdivision of the state of Nevada
  • NEVADA ATTORNEY GENERAL, a political subdivision of the state of Nevada
  • AARON FORD, individually and in his capacity as Nevada Attorney General
  • DOES I through X, and ROE BUSINESS ENTITIES I through X, inclusive

Yet the $150,00 paid on behalf of the three candidates has led to a campaign finance complaint filed this morning with the Nevada Secretary of State by former Reno councilman Paul McKenzie.

The complaint was obtained by News 4-Fox11 and alleges that the recount checks written by Beadles should be considered  in-kind political contributions.

According to News 4-Fox11, McKenzie wrote in the complaint: “I am asking the Nevada Secretary of State to investigate this matter and take all appropriate enforcement actions warranted against the individual candidates who accepted illegal contributions from Robert Beadles: Lily Baran, Paul White, and Mark Lawson…I call for appropriate enforcement action against Robert Beadles, who appears now to be a serial violator of the law regarding elections. I also call for a stop to the actions requested by the campaigns and paid for with illegally accepted campaign cash.”

Nevada election lawyer Bradley Schrager weighed in in X in support of McKenzie’s complaint, stating:

In a peppered response, Beadles challenged the claim, stating in part, “PACs can spend nearly as much as they want on candidates; that’s why they exist. Look at the millions of dollars spent on Clara Andriola, Beth Smith, etc., by PACs! Look at AG Aaron Ford, SOS Aguilar, and the millions spent by PACs for them. It’s why PACs exist and why it’s legal. If Franklin Project is in violation, then every PAC and every candidate across the country is in violation.”

According to reports, the Washoe County Registrars office will have the recount completed by Sunday, June 30. The Globe will continue to follow this developing story.

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Megan Barth
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One thought on “Three Candidates Demand Recount In June Primary, File Temporary Restraining Orders

  1. We would have more cross checks and transparency, if it wasn’t a super majority here and all of the elected officials there are from one party. A balance of all political factions, provides needed data, and information and monitoring of elections and spending.

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