A poll by Reno City Council member Jenny Brekhus, released in October, who announced last year she was running for mayor, shows her to be tied in her challenge against incumbent Mayor Hillary Schieve.
When asked who they would vote for, 29% of survey respondents said they were in favor of Schieve staying as mayor, with 28% siding with Brekhus.
Most – 43% – however, were not sure.
When asked if they had a favorable or unfavorable opinion of Brekhus, 22% said favorable with 13% unfavorable. Conversely, Schieve received 32% favorable and 35% unfavorable on a similar question about the incumbent. More than 30% were unsure.
Schieve today said she had not seen the poll results and is focused on using federal funds the city is getting to make improvements in the city.
“I’m very busy, the most busy I have been,” she said. “I’m working on mental health initiatives and helping on homeless issues.We also have a rare opportunity to get a lot right with our ARPA dollars. I would encourage every elected official to stay focused on how we can all truly impact our community together.”
Brekhus said the poll results show dissatisfaction with the state of affairs at city hall.
“The poll results confirmed what I thought; that Reno voters are not enamored with Mayoral leadership,” she told This Is Reno. “I look forward to making the case that I am more fit to help guide our community on a promising trajectory. Foremost, I will take on special interests that have grown in influence at city hall because she has allowed her personal relationships to infect the organization and gain outsized advantage.”
Those polled were also equally split on whether the city, mayor and council are “leading the City in the right direction.”
Most all who were surveyed – 90% – said they would vote in this year’s election.
Schieve said she does not want to engage in mudslinging in her campaign.
Both candidates are not shy about their dislike for one another. Brekhus is perceived as an underdog, unafraid of going against moneyed interests. Schieve has in the past characterized Brekhus as being against just about everything.
The two frequently argue with one another during city council meetings. Other council members join in and have been openly critical of Brekhus, both during meetings and online.
Schieve, according to her campaign contribution form filed with the Nevada Secretary of State, has raised $92,000. Businesses, developers, lobbyists, casinos and law firms have all donated to her re-election campaign.
Brekhus on the other hand has raised $19,000 primarily from individual donors.
Brekhus was re-elected to the council two years ago, by a very narrow margin, against realtor J.D. Drakulich. She said if she is not elected mayor, she will continue to serve the rest of her term on the council.
Bob Conrad is publisher, editor and co-founder of This Is Reno. He has served in communications positions for various state agencies and earned a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Nevada, Reno in 2011. In addition to managing This Is Reno, he holds a part-time appointment for the Mineral County University of Nevada Extension office.