MEET YOUR CANDIDATES: Herman Versus Judd (County Commission)

Livestream video of the May 3, 2018 candidate forum for County Commission candidates.

This is Reno profiled numerous candidates for local races in the 2018 mid-term elections. Student political writer Don Dike-Anukam attended a number of political events in recent months to track down candidates, learn about issues, and to see what those in the races had to say about topics being faced by Reno. While this election remains contentious around the country, at the local level many Reno candidates tended to focus more on issues and less on mudslinging. Here are the two candidates for the Washoe Board of County Commissioners: Lindsy Judd facing incumbent Jeanne Herman.

By Don Dike-Anukam

Lindsy Judd (D)

I had a chance to sit down with Washoe County Commission District 5 candidate Lindsy Judd in late August.

Who is Lindsy Judd?
She is a “millennial,” organic farmer, mother of two, and green grassroots organizer, she obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from Evergreen State University in Washington state in 2008. She taught English in Korea for four years.

Why is she running?
“Like all these streams right, that are flowing into this river, the river is telling me to run.” She is concerned with lack of accessibility and reliability in public transit for low income individuals. She is concerned that RTC is focusing more on the urban core and making lines smaller, possibly disadvantaging the constituencies of North Reno, the North Valleys, and the Red Rock area. If residents pay taxes then they should have access to those services.

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She feels the district has a lack of representation at the commission, and that the current incumbent isn’t listening to her constituency in the district. She is very passionate about the recent flooding and property damage in Lemmon Valley and how to resolve this with future planning and flooding and flood damage prevention. She says it’s not isolated to Swan Lake; it has to do with the sewer capacity in the county that is maxed out.

Issues of primary concern
Affordable housing for seniors and people on fixed incomes who are barely keeping up with rapidly rising rents and bills. Judd reports that 250 people with vouchers from the Reno Housing Authority can’t find homes because the $750 isn’t enough to rent or move in. “That the average family in Washoe county makes $73,000. That affords you a house that’s $180,000, which is not on the market and does not exist. Not even in Cold Springs.” Other issues she is concerned with are: sewer capacity issues, affordable food options, snowplows, trash, traffic detour problems, jobs and education. She sees many of our problems as a result of Washoe County’s financial response to the 2008 downturn. She believes it’s a matter of rebuilding and maintaining parks, maintenance, and infrastructure.

Why should I vote for you?
“Because I am fierce and I am running a tough campaign, I’m working and I’m knocking on doors, talking to people. I’ve got my nose to the grindstone and that’s what this is about! It’s about having a commissioner who will work for us. Who will bring our concerns to the board you know and who will sit down with developers and other members of government in order to advocate for our communities.”

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How she plans to win
“As a Democrat running in a Republican area, it’s tough. But when it comes down to it, this is about our neighborhood, it’s about our community, it’s not party politics!” After having her very successful fundraiser (attended by former candidate for governor Chris Giunchigliani and State Senator Julia Ratti), I asked how she felt about the event and turnout: “I think it bolsters and energizes myself and those around me. Yeah, I think it shows my volunteers that they’re not alone and that… other people are excited and energized. And ready to fight for November.”

Learn more: https://www.lindsyjudd.com/

Jeanne Herman (R)

Washoe County Commissioner Jeanne Herman.
Washoe County Commissioner Jeanne Herman.

Jeanne Herman has always been interested in politics. Her first campaign was for Eisenhower with her grandfather, who raised her. She went to high school in Alaska and grew up in a town of 1900 people after the gold rush. When she finished school, she started raising a family of 4 girls and working on businesses. She has been a 4-H leader and was as involved in agriculture, having lived in Idaho and Washington state. She has a herd of 30 cows.

“If it wasn’t for the ranchers, there wouldn’t be wildlife in the state,” she said. “It’s an important part of the ecosystem.”

Her mother and father both owned a newspaper called the Nome Nugget, and she learned to set type and fold the papers.

Why she got involved?

She says she’s a weirdo because she ran her own entire campaign herself. She realized she wasn’t going to fix everything in one term, but she believes she has the capability of getting it done eventually. The first time she ever ran was 2014. The biggest thing she was interested in then regarding her campaign was getting people’s voice back and land rights.

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Herman said that she wants responsible government.

“When raising four independent girls, you become unafraid of anything,” she explained. “I don’t want you to vote for me if you don’t have faith in me, or if you don’t trust me, or if you don’t think I’ve worked hard enough.”

But she believes she has worked very hard, and her focus on the second term will be the serve the people, to follow her oath of office, and to get as much done for the people during that time. Herman said she’s working hard to get more money to elevate homes in Lemmon Valley.

Learn more: www.jeanneforcommissioner.com

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