- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 21, 2014

RENO, Nev. (AP) - Reno Mayor Bob Cashell broke his silence Wednesday about who he thinks voters should pick as his replacement, throwing his support behind Reno civil engineer Ray Pezonella in a crowded field of 18 candidates.

The popular, three-term mayor said he’s endorsing Pezonella as the best person to represent Reno’s business community and residents city-wide. Early voting begins Saturday for the June 10 primary.

Ray is a proven distinguished leader, whose experience, passion, integrity and selfless dedication clearly demonstrates a willingness to learn, listen, evaluate and make the difficult decisions necessary to lead our great city,” Cashell said at a news conference in the lobby of the US Bank building across the street from the federal courthouse.

Cashell told the Reno Gazette-Journal in March that given the huge field, he’d be the “stupidest person in the world to try to pick a horse right now.” But the newspaper first reported on its website earlier Wednesday that Cashell had become concerned because momentum may be building for anti-establishment candidate Eddie Lorton.

Lorton was behind a court challenge that knocked a pair of favorites out of the race, Jessica Sferraza and Dwight Dortch, when a judge ruled limits on their city council terms also apply to the mayor’s office.

Pezonella and Lorton are two of the four candidates who reported this week that they have more than $100,000 in their campaign war chests, although $100,000 of Lorton’s total of $109,785 came in the form of a loan he made to his campaign, the Gazette-Journal reported. Pezonella has loaned his campaign $35,000, but he raised the rest of his $110,000 total from contributors.

Idora Silver, a business management consultant, loaned $60,000 to her campaign, which reported a total of $106,721.

Reno City Councilwoman Hillary Schieve reported $100,502, including $10,000 from the Reno Police Protective Association along with her own loan of $12,831.

Robert Avery, a tech entrepreneur, reported $98,409 including loans from himself totaling $40,844 and from family members totaling $25,000.

Commercial real estate broker Ken Stark has $70,385, including his own loan for $35,000, and Washoe County Commissioner Marsha Berkbigler raised $64,680, including her loan for $25,000.

The only other candidates to raise more than $15,000 were Reno city planner Charles “Chuck” Reno with $30,395; and DeLores Aiazzi, a microbiologist and wife of former Councilman Dave Aiazzi, who reported $20,257.

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Information from: Reno Gazette-Journal, https://www.rgj.com


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