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Judge: Brekhus can continue her run for Reno mayor

By Bob Conrad

Washoe County Second Judicial Court Judge Connie Steinheimer today issued a ruling that gives Jenny Brekhus the green light to continue her run for the Reno mayor’s seat. 

Fellow candidate William Mantle argued before the court two weeks ago that Brekhus, a sitting council member since 2012, would be termed out and should not be allowed to run for mayor. 

Steinheimer disagreed.

“The term for the Mayoral position for which Brekhus is a candidate begins two years before Brekhus’s current term is scheduled to end,” she wrote in her ruling. “If Brekhus is successful in her Mayoral election, Brekhus will have served for ten years within the same local governing body prior to assuming her newly elected position. 

“For this reason, if Brekhus is successful in her campaign for Mayor for the City of Reno, Brekhus would be unable to have served for twelve years or more within a local governing body prior to the start of her Mayoral term,” Steinheimer added. “If Brekhus is successful in her 2022 campaign for Mayor for the City of Reno, the staggered election cycles make it an impossibility for Brekhus to have served for twelve years or more within the same local governing body prior to assuming the position of Mayor for the City of Reno.”

Steinheimer also said Mantle’s challenge of Brekhus was not frivolous and said he did not have to pay Brekhus’ attorney fees. 

“I’ve always asserted that I am eligible to run. Hillary Schieve and I started on the same day in 2012. If she is eligible, then I am eligible,” Brekhus said.

Mantle said he believed the challenge was legitimate.

“I fulfilled my civic duty to the Nevada Constitution and voters by bringing forth a legitimate challenge despite Brekhus’ efforts to intimidate me to drop the challenge with threats of 5-figure attorney’s fees,” he said. “I’ll continue to focus on the race to bring forward the clarity, accountability, and transparency that this city needs.”

He added that he lacks resources to appeal to the state Supreme Court.

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