Reno Mayoral Debate Gives Voters a Closer Look at Candidates

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RENO, NV - The June 10th primaries are drawing near and for the first time in more than a decade, Reno is getting a new mayor. Tuesday night, locals were given a better idea of who they want to be their next mayor of Reno. Mayoral candidates came together for a forum to talk about the biggest challenges ahead for the Biggest Little City.

Signs and billboards have been posted all over town, but so many of the 18 candidates are still a mystery to many Reno residents. The Reno Gazette Journal and public television station, KNPB hosted a debate to give locals a chance to see where they stand on the important issues. More than 200 people came to watch the 17 of the 18 candidates duke it out in the first round of debates.

"There were half of them who had good things to say and the other half I don't know why they're there," said Amanda Adams, a Reno resident.

"The quality of the candidates were very good. Most of them were professionals, some weren't but even the ones who weren't had some good ideas and good agenda items," said Don Crone, a resident of Reno.

Candidates touched on topics that ranged from laying off firefighters, to Reno's debt load, to the city's homeless situation. Each candidate had 30 seconds to answer each question and then participated in yes or no round, however, some say that wasn't enough.

"I don't really pay too much attention to the yes and no's," said Crone. "It's the answer behind the yes and nos that really count."

"I really want to press people and hear their answers, so they need to have a debate with a smaller group of people because what 17 people? That's not okay," said Adams. "You don't really get to hear what you need to hear."

Voters will have that chance to get an more intimate look at the candidates. The top 10 candidates from Tuesday night's debate will will go head-to-head in two televised debates on May 29th.

Voters can decide who those 10 will be. Top candidates will be based on votes from the paper ballots, their social media followers and campaign contributions.

"It definitely helped narrow it down, get to know them better, see which candidate's values match up with my own," said Jennie Bear, a Reno resident.

"I narrowed it down to four candidates," said Crone. "If you don't participate, you're not going to change anything."

Paper ballots were handed out tonight and will be printed in the RGJ over the next month for voters to submit by May 20th. The deadline to register in-person or online is also May 20th.