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82 Votes: The Difference in a Local Election of Direct Relevance to Questions of Planning

One candidate is seen as combative to developers during a housing crisis, and the other is a real estate agent. The race to lead a section of Reno that includes the city's oldest, most historic neighborhoods came down to 82 votes.
December 2, 2020, 8am PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Truckee River
The Truckee River flows through the city of Reno.
Don Mammoser

Tabitha Mueller report on the results of the November election in Reno, Nevada, where voters chose between candidates for Reno City Council in Ward 1, which includes the city's Riverwalk District.

"The ward encompasses diverse neighborhoods and identities — old and new Reno, historic neighborhoods and a modernizing business district, new residents […] seeking unique recreational opportunities and long-time citizens hoping to maintain the character of a city they love," writes Mueller.

Incumbent Jenny Brekhaus won the election by the miniscule margin of 82 votes. The election was "one that residents, scholars and policymakers say was defined by contrasts in leadership styles and differing perspectives on developers’ roles in local governance," according to Mueller.

Brekhaus's opponent was real estate agent J.D. Drakulich, who was criticized during for receiving money from out-of-state real estate developers to fund his campaign.

"It's an outcome supporters heralded as a victory for independence and accountability on a council they say often acts in concert with special interests, but one that critics bemoaned as maintaining a combative presence on the council that could hinder needed development and growth," according to Mueller.  

The article includes a lot more detail about the planning and development questions facing Ward 1 in Reno—which "contains some of oldest, most historic neighborhoods in the city, both commercial and residential..."

Full Story:
Published on Tuesday, December 1, 2020 in The Nevada Independent
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