Mayoral Race Debate Will Exclude Eight Candidates

(MGN Online)
By  | 

RENO -- With eighteen candidates for Reno mayor, a plan to invite just ten to debate has drawn some criticism. The debates on May 29th are being put on by the Reno Gazette-Journal and KNPB.

Kelly Scott, executive editor of the Reno Gazette-Journal, said it was necessary to narrow the field because of the time constraints. She added the Reno Gazette-Journal and KNPB invited all the candidates to a forum last month, and the media organizations are covering all the candidates.

"I don't know that this system is ideal. In a perfect world, we'd have all candidates in a debate," she said.

Scott said the top ten "viable" candidates will be determined based on fundraising, followers on social media and ballots cut out from the newspaper and mailed or brought to the Reno Gazette-Journal.

"The three were chosen to appeal to different segments of the audience, you might have older people who are turning in ballots, you might have younger people on social media," Brent Boynton, vice president of news and production at KNPB said.

However, the plan has drawn criticism from candidates on social media. Delores Aiazzi, who is running for mayor, said she would like to see all the candidates debate.

"I think using the words 'viable, a viable candidate,' I think is really insulting to the people who don't raise a lot of money," she said.

Mayoral candidate Robert Avery said he carries cut out newspaper ballots to make it easier for supporters to weigh in.

"What we've done is we've actually purchased newspapers, cut them out and we take them everywhere we go I keep stacks of ballots with me at all times," Avery said.

While Scott said some of the newspapers have been purchased by candidates, the process still determines which campaigns are the most effective.

"Getting out the vote and getting people to participate in your campaign is part of the viability of a campaign, at the end of the day, we're only interested in viability, this isn't a poll on the candidates this isn't a reflection on who would be the best mayor," Scott said.

Idora Silver and Robert Avery topped the list of the most "viable" candidates Monday. Scott said as of Friday, roughly 26-hundred ballots had been turned in.