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A Reno judge ruled that Mike Clark had the right to appear on the ballot in June as a Republican candidate for county commissioner. (Photo: Mike Clark)

Lucey Loses Effort to Boot Opponent from Ballot

Judge rules Mike Clark can remain in GOP primary for Washoe County Commissioner

By Ken Kurson, April 20, 2022 10:54 am

UPDATE (12 pm 4-20-22): This story has been updated to include comment from Commissioner Lucey.

Judge David Hardy ruled yesterday that Mike Clark can remain on the ballot for June’s primary in the race for the Republican nomination for District 2, which includes south Reno and Washoe Valley.

Press play to hear a narrated version of this story, presented by AudioHopper.

This was a win for Clark and a loss for Incumbent Bob Lucey, who sought to have Clark disqualified over a technicality that emerged when the DMV automatically changed Clark’s party registration after a recent move. As the Globe has detailed, the Secretary of State sent a memo saying a “candidate whose major political party affiliation was changed by the AVR process through no fault of their own” should not be denied the opportunity to run to represent that party.

Following the ruling, Clark—who is currently the county assessor—told the Nevada Globe, “I was able to prevail in court yesterday. I never had any intention to change my party. Apparently, the Nevada legislators had a special session and put this automatic voter registration process in play during Covid and I bet less than 10% of the citizens even understand how this works. Going forward, I’m on the ballot.”

Current County Commissioner Bob Lucey challenged his opponent’s right to remain on the ballot after a technical glitch at the DMV. (Photo: washoecounty.gov)

Lucey told the Globe he was disappointed but respects the decision.

“I was disappointed with the outcome. When I filed the petition [challenging Clark], the law is very clear and it is something the legislature is very clear. His candidacy is based upon protecting the integrity of the voters. Mike Clark and the like have been advocating for this and I found it very hypocritical for him to say look, we want election integrity yet we don’t want to follow the laws as they’re currently drafted. I am not intimidated or scared to run against Mike Clark in a primary. He will be one of many opponents I’ve had over my career on Washoe County Commission. Every election, I’ve had a primary opponent and a general election opponent. My record speaks for itself. The judge’s decision is the judge’s decision to allow the Washoe voters to decide and he’s right.”

So far, that makes the score Mike Clark 1-Bob Lucey 0, but the Globe can report that there are more legal machinations to be seen.

“Today, I got an email from my attorney that they filed another complaint against me,” Clark told The Globe. “They’re saying I violated the restraining order. The county got a restraining order against me because I passed out a public record — everything I mailed out was in the public record. They got a restraining order against me. So now I have to call the head of security at the county when I want to go into Building A. So I called and got permission to go into Building A a month ago and got an invitation to go in and chat with a sitting county commissioner and they’re accusing me of violating the order even though her office is in Building A.”

Clark is referring to an incident from May of 2021 in which he sent an anonymous mailer accusing some on the county commission of “political skullduggery.” A photo of a female county official in a bathing suit was included on the mailer. The Globe would characterize this mailer as idiotic, but fairly anodyne compared to other political mailers we’ve seen. Nevertheless, the Reno Justice Court granted a temporary protection order for the alleged “harassment.”

Clark appealed the legitimacy of the restraining order back in June and it’s taken until now for a hearing to be scheduled, which will take place on April 28.

“The county has been sandbagging this and not giving me a day in court. So finally, for eight months I’ve been waiting, I wrote a letter to the chief judge’s clerk. It’s a year-long restraining order and the county sat on it for nine months before I could get a day in court and show what really took place.”

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly implied that Commissioner Lucey is a party to the lawsuit pertaining to Clark’s actions in the workplace. The Globe regrets the error.

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