Lyon County Commission District 5 candidates

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.

David Hockaday (Republican)

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


I grew up mostly in California 1955 to 1973. My father was in the Navy so we moved frequently. I graduated from college with a degree in Criminal Justice and a commission in the USAF as a 2nd Lieutenant. Air Force experience: Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) Launch Officer, ICBM weapon system instructor, Strategic Air Command Long Range Planner, Chief, Airborne Battlestaff on “Looking Glass” Presidential support aircraft (I carried the “Football”), ICBM Squadron Commander. I retired as a Lt. Colonel. I have a Master’s degree in Public Administration and Elementary Education Teaching Credentials for South Dakota (SD) and California (CA), I taught 5th grade in SD and at-risk 4th graders in CA. I was vice chairman of  the Plumas County Planning Commission, volunteer firefighter and medical first responder for 9 years, member of the Plumas County Fire Safe Council, past member of Nevada Civil Air Patrol, past reserve deputy, Lyon County Sheriff Office and past Chairman, Lyon County Republican Central Committee. I am currently a Nevada concealed firearms instructor at Dave’s Firearm School.

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

I am running for Lyon County Commissioner District 5 because I want to keep Lyon County a great place to live. I have lived in this district for more than 12 years and I understand the challenges we face as a rural county. I have experience with county agencies, public school systems, law enforcement and volunteer services.

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

Lyon County faces significant growth issues which stress our infrastructure. Current residents must have officials that will listen to their concerns and attempt to create logical solutions. Water is a significant issue for sustaining agriculture as well as residential development, it is a limited resource that must be considered.

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

My missile squadron was located in southwestern South Dakota, my 50 missiles and 5 launch control centers were scattered over 3,500 square miles. There were ranches, farms and small communities within the squadron area. I had to keep my personnel and the civilian population happy and conflict-free. I believe my work experiences along with my volunteer activities will be beneficial to the Lyon County Commission. 

Ricky Ortega (Republican)

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

Above all, I am an American. I am retired from the Army where I served in both the Enlisted and Commissioned Ranks. I was Branched Infantry with a Secondary Branch of Special Operations. I am a patriot and driven by a sense of duty to my community.

My background is varied. As a young man I worked many jobs, including but not limited to picking vegetables in Southern California in Delano, Bakersfield and Compton areas. I have managed multiple Law Offices engaged in Workers Compensation and Family Law. I have worked as a Veterans Representative, Labor Commissioner with Wage and Hour matters, and presently: Work Force Development.

Community Service: I have a rich history here of “volunteerism.” For decades I have been involved in officiating football. These days I am generally doing it at the high school and youth levels.

 As a pilot and plane owner, I am involved in Young Eagles and provide young folks plane rides and familiarize them with the fundamentals of flight. 

Yerington Lions Club: About two years ago I transferred from the Redding Lions Club to Yerington. We recently tested the eyesight of school children in Yerington and Smith Valley.

United States Coast Guard Auxiliary: I am a qualified Crew Member.

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

I am running due to my sense of duty and passion for our country. There are no special qualities I possess that make me uniquely qualified to be a County Commissioner; notwithstanding my love of community and country/county. My undergraduate degree was in political science and I worked as a Foreign Area Officer while in the Army. While in that assignment I gleamed much about governments and insurgencies.

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

Tuesday night there was a debate hosted and numerous issues were discussed there within that forum. That debate is posted on my Facebook Page, Ricky Ortega (Running for Commissioner for Lyon County, Nevada District 5).

But the biggest problem we face is our economic shut down and getting everyone back to work and resume some sense of “Normalcy.” Family. Faith and high school sports are all undergirded by meaningful employment. No easy solutions and we are all going to have to be flexible in our approaches in developing courses of action in a meaningful County approach. Farmers, ranchers, dairymen, miners and public employees, tech and retail will have tremendous input.

Of immediate concern are the restaurants in Yerington. Most are now up for sale and have been for a while. I am very concerned.

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

I strongly support our churches and understand the concerns and faith of our founding forefathers. I am a Constitutionalist.

Clifford A. Thompson (Republican)

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

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

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

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

Hello my name is Clifford Thompson and I am a candidate for Lyon County Commissioner District S, and first I would like to thank Robert Perea for this opportunity to plead my case to the voters and taxpayers of Lyon County that I feel haven’t been getting their money’s worth, {like the recently deceased Freddie Fulstone) said to me many times this is an agricultural county and what has the county gods done to protect the irrigation water in the driest part of the driest county in the driest state in the United States of America, well let’s see. Every time I pick up a newspaper I read where another piece of ag land has been approved to be subdivided to grow houses. Why? It’s the law you can’t subdivide land unless you have water rights. Senator Harry Reid, retired, said for years swimming pools in Las Vegas is more important because of the heat than growing alfalfa hay in Mason and Smith Valley, and there is also some nut cases up at the University of Nevada saying we have to stop growing alfalfa hay and send the water to Walker Lake. Somebody better ask the dairy cows and the people that put butter on their toast in the morning. I see the sub dividers eyeballing ag water. If elected, I will fight for more reservoir storage space on the Carson and both the East and West Walker Rivers. I talked to Eric Johnson, head of the Nevada Parks when they are shoving that new park down our throats and going to dry up a few hundred or thousand acres of ag land to save a dead lake (with paper water that only exists on paper) once every flood year and is allotted by year of priority. Oldest rights are served first, then on down the line as long as it lasts. I explained to Mr. Johnson if a storage water dam was constructed at the lower end of the Pitchfork Ranch and a pipeline was constructed from Wilson Canyon to that new little lake that will be created, now the reasoning behind this is several ranches including ours has storage water rights in Topaz Reservoir or lake that could be moved efficiently early in the season when the river is running high or at flood stage and stored for later beneficial use (like raising food) not a dead lake, and Eric Johnson thought that would benefit the park and raising food and fishing for the tourists. I think that is called a win-win situation (not quite, not for the farmers, ranchers and taxpayers). For instance in 1960 Congress passed the Multiple Use & Sustained Yield Act, and in that act there is a statement that says the world’s population is growing and agriculture is shrinking, so it’s only a matter of time until famine overtakes food production. Then what? More Donner parties? Nevada has lots of vacant land that could grow houses and victory gardens and fruit trees off of small domestic wells, if these mini farms were limited to five acres or more, but not less, and the ag water remained on the flood irrigated agriculture land, not sprinkled, so that it would maintain the underground water table and that with more storage reservoirs in the highest elevation and narrowest canyons available to reduce surface area evaporation, and then I think we just might have enough food and water for the people for the next hundred years or so if this mysterious plague don’t kill us all first.

Here is a few questions I would have liked to have asked the other two candidates running for District 5 County Commission. Maybe you voters reading this can ask them. What are the 7 limited enumerated powers granted to Congress in the Constitution? What are the separation of powers and what offices did it create? And are all of the federal land laws, the Homestead Act, desert entry, grazing allotments, Timber Culture Act, I872 Mining Law, B.L.M. Act, U.S.D.A. Forest Service creation and many more wrote by Congress and some say all fall under the Supremacy Clause of the Federal Constitution, so my question is, which acts, if you assume all laws passed by the United States government in Congress assembled are supreme to state or local law? That brings up the question, which are regulatory and for what purpose and with what authority constitutionally delegated?

The separation of powers is very important. The court has ruled that this means only an elected legislative body may legislate, i.e. it means the county boards of commissioners or supervisors can and is supposed to be telling the Bureau of Land Management and the USFS how they want their resources managed, i.e. they want the grazing allotments grazed and not blazed, but when F.D.R. got elected in ’32 and took office in ’33 and remember the deal, two cars in every garage and a chicken in every pot, that sounded good to a lot of folks that were having a hard time. So it’s the old story, the left hand didn’t know what the right hand was doing so he began rewriting, i.e. destroying the U.S. Constitution. He did that H.E.W. Health, Education & Welfare (Of course the key word was education), quit teaching history and the Constitution and replace them (with social studies?). Burn them books and replace them with brand new ones. Yes, I was there and I can still see the smoke coming out of my father’s ear when I went home with my brand new socialist study book. So most everybody called the new a socialist, communist, but in reality that was just a cover for fascism. So how do we educate the Lyon County Commission? Please hire me and I will do my best.

One thought on “Lyon County Commission District 5 candidates

  • Kathleen Giddings

    From what I understand, governor Sisolak does have the power to mandate masks but does not have the power to fine anyone. Ive been hearing several businesses are being fined because their customers choose not to wear a mask. Do you support this? Also, he is picking and choosing certain parts of the covid science. Like, there is no evidence masks prevent covid. WHO said about a month ago, “it is rare to get covid from a person who is not showing symptoms (coughing & sneezing). ” They later retracted this statement but as a nurse of 20 yrs, I absolutely believe forcing healthy people to wear masks is not effective and breathing CO2 all day long is unhealthy. Wearing PPE is supposed to be beneficial if we are around sick people a lot or if you yourself are actively sick. Since May, I have yet to know anyone acquaintances, friends, or patients with Covid. Things just dont add up. Gov Sisolak banned qualified physicians from prescribing hydrochlorquin, 2 new studies just came out approving of it, several countries and countless Dr say it works prophylactically and stops Covid in the early stages before hospitalization is required but the governor thinks he knows best. Troubling is every time someone is positive for covid they count it as 1 case and if you get retested positively 15 times, they count them and say there are15 new cases of Covid.
    I am an American in the land of the free, what is happening here? I dont feel like as a native Nevadan that we are not living in a free state any more. And God only knows when or if it will be again.


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