Lyon County Commission District 3 candidates

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Editor’s note: With the unlikelihood that there will be public campaign forums during the lead up to this year’s primary election, The Fernley Reporter has submitted a questionnaire to candidates for offices that represent Fernley.

All candidates were asked the same questions, with the freedom to answer in whatever manner they choose. Responses to those questions will be grouped by each office they are running for, and will be published as they are received. All responses have been edited only for spelling and punctuation, and no content has been changed. In addition, all candidates are responsible for their own comments, and any false or misleading statements are the responsibility of the candidate and not The Fernley Reporter.

Candidates will be listed alphabetically, as their names will be listed on the ballot.

Gary Gladwill (Republican)

1. Describe who you are and where you’re from, your background, work history, experience, community service, etc.

I am a Native Nevadan and a lifelong resident of the State of Nevada. Born in Fallon, I worked as a ranch hand in my teens and as a janitor to make ends meet for my then young family. Next, I worked overseas as a construction Foreman and later a Superintendent for Bechtel and Chevron, respectively in the Oil and Gas Industry. For the last 28 years, Nevada’s Construction Industry has provided my livelihood. In fact, in 2003, I started F&G Construction Ltd. F&G Construction specializes in commercial building construction and currently employs 7 fulltime workers on projects located primarily in the Lyon County and Carson City area.

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In addition to my strong work ethic, I am involved in the community. Most recently I served as a board member of FISH for three years, one of which was as the Chairman. FISH is a local charity helping the less fortunate people of Douglas, Lyon, and Carson City. Over the past eight years, I also contributed significantly in terms of both time and money to the Arts through my association with Pinkerton Ballet in Carson City. I also donate annually to a variety of youth groups believing that these organizations help develop important personal and interpersonal skills in youth and help young people gain the self-confidence and self-esteem required to become the next group of leaders in our communities.

2. State why you are running and what qualifies you for the office you are running for.

I support a very limited role for the government in terms of personal freedoms and commerce. I am today, and have always been a private sector employee. As a business owner, I have experienced firsthand the consequences of excessive regulation. In fact, it is my opinion that over the past couple of years the County has been slowly encroaching more and more upon our freedoms. The encroachments come both personally and professionally through increased taxes and fees, and also through unnecessary and senseless regulation. As a conservative and a business owner, I believe that I can bring private sector common sense and fiscal alternatives to the problems that exist within the County all the while maintaining personal and business freedoms.

3. What are some of the main issues you believe the board you are running for faces, and what are some of your solutions?

The COVID19 crisis is the most pressing issue facing Lyon County and the country. Getting businesses back up and running and getting the people back to work are going to be very real challenges for the County. Next and topping the list of County business in the future will be issues related to water and growth. These issues must be dealt with on a per occurrence basis. Finally, we must tackle the issues created by Title 15. In my opinion, this set of regulations was passed with very little scrutiny and has severely restricted people’s ability to improve their properties.

4. What else would you like voters to know about you and what you would try to accomplish if you are elected?

If elected, I will adhere to the conservative, Republican platform on which I won the election. I will stand firm as an advocate for less governmental intervention and more freedom for individuals and businesses. I want to help make Lyon County a place that people want to live and work and where everyone enjoys the freedoms that are our rights as citizens.

Ken Gray (Republican)

Ken Gray

1. Describe who you are and where you’re from, your background, work history, experience, community service, etc.

Name: Ken Gray

Age: 50

Family: Kati Gray, my wife of 25 years

Katelyn Gray, oldest daughter and Petty Officer Second Class, United States Navy

Hannah Gray, youngest daughter and Private First Class, Nevada Army National Guard

How long have you lived in the locality you wish to represent: 17 years

Occupation: Retired Chief Master Sergeant (E-9), United States Air Force and the current Commissioner for District 3.

Endorsements: I am honored to be endorsed by U.S. Congressional District 2 Representative Mark Amodei, Nevada State Senator James Settlemeyer, Assemblywoman Dr. Robin Titus, Assemblyman Jim Wheeler, and former Assemblyman and current candidate for U.S. Congressional District 4, Jim Marchant.

2. State why you are running and what qualifies you for the office you are running for.

First and foremost, I am a Conservative Republican. I believe strongly in the American project. I have spent a life in service to our country and fostered that ethic in my children. I hold dear the fundamental tenants of our nation’s founding, and believe strongly in our traditions of personal liberty and individual responsibility. I believe it is every citizen’s responsibility to work with others to improve their communities to ensure that those communities afford the greatest opportunity to all for achieving the American dream. For this reason, I sought office four years ago; for this reason, I am running for an additional term.

Given my background, I will continue to bring extensive professional and real world leadership experience to the position of County Commissioner, as well as a fearlessness in speaking my mind. During my previous career, I was frequently called upon to brief Nevada’s congressional delegation, legislative committees and Assembly/Senate sessions while serving as Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge of a Nevada National Guard program. Furthermore, I represented that same program with county and state entities during planning for and conduct of state emergency response and relief operations for over five years. I also led and coordinated program operations and support at the national level in addition to providing key support for interstate exercises and response operations. Following my military career, I served for two and half years as the Senior Field Representative in Nevada’s 2nd Congressional District for military, defense, veterans, and public lands issues.

The past four years, I have served on our Board of County Commissioners. While serving in that capacity, I have fought against new/increased taxes and fees. I supported our communities in their right to determine how and if they want to grow. I worked to support Nevada’s tradition of agricultural and mining operations in areas they have historically operated. During the last legislative session, I fought to protect our Second Amendment rights and against becoming a sanctuary state for illegal immigrants. I support President Trump’s recommendations on phased re-vitalization of our communities and businesses following the COVID-19 shutdown. Currently, I am fighting to get our county re-opened for business in a sensible way before irreparable damage is done to our economy and to our citizens.  I am also not afraid of staking out a controversial position on contentious issues, if I think that position best serves our community and residents. For instance, I fought so the people, not just the Board of County Commissioners, could decide the fate of the brothels in Lyon County. 

3. What are some of the main issues you believe the board you are running for faces, and what are some of your solutions?

The most immediate issue facing us now is recovering from the damage wrought by the COVID 19 pandemic. This is likely to take longer than we now believe, and could easily run into the next year and beyond. We will need to address many issues affecting our citizens, businesses, and industry. We must to begin doing this now. There will be many tough budgetary issues to deal with and as I have proven in my current term, I can and will make tough decisions in the dilemmas facing our county. Unfortunately, for some of the looming problems, there may be no ideal short-term solutions.

I have spoken with citizens, local business owners and leaders. Many are concerned that implementing a fast, hard restart might cause tremendous problems for those businesses, given depleted finances, uncertain supply chains, and issues with recalling or hiring employees. Failure with opening communities and businesses will further threaten the viability of our local economy, and drive a loss of confidence on the part of Lyon County residents. Accordingly, I believe the commission, local businesses and citizens will have to work closely together to structure a proper re-opening, identify potential problems and failure points, and emplace appropriate controls – as far as that is possible. Critical to success in this will be ensuring clear and ongoing communication between the above groups, as well as with appropriate state agencies. For my part, I will work to establish and maintain open channels between the Board of County Commissioners and both the citizen base and business community in Lyon County. Additionally, I will work to foster clear and reasonable expectations to help ensure our return to normal operations is as smooth as possible.

Growth is, and will continue to be, the biggest and most enduring issue facing each area of our county in the long term. That growth should be managed according to what each community desires and not at the sole discretion of developers or the county government. We need to work to maintain the rural and small town atmosphere that has drawn so many of us to this place to make our homes. There will be growth and residents, business and industry, certainly. I believe, though that this growth can and must be done while preserving the unique character of each of our communities. 

4. What else would you like voters to know about you and what you would try to accomplish if you are elected?

I believe in small, limited government and our constitution. I will continue to support our communities’ right to grow as they see fit. I will continue to fight higher taxes and fees and the intrusion of government and corporations into every facet of our lives.

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