RENO — A Republican challenger is demanding a recount in her bid to unseat an incumbent Republican in the same state assembly district in Reno where tea party activist Sharron Angle first made a name for herself taking on Nevada’s GOP establishment more than a decade ago.
Assemblyman Randy Kirner defeated Lisa Krasner by 11 votes in the District 26 race on Nov. 4 — 10,331 to 10,320 — based on the returns the Washoe County Commission formally canvassed and submitted to the Nevada secretary of state on Wednesday.
But Krasner met Monday’s deadline to submit a $2,000 fee to finance the recount, and has identified the 5 percent of precincts she’d like to be recounted in accordance with state law, county officials said.
The county registrar’s office has five days to start the recount and must finish the process within five days of beginning. County officials are planning to start the recount on Thursday.
Krasner, a seven-year member of Reno’s Parks and Recreation Commission, is optimistic the review will find a mistake in the absentee tallies, which were delayed on Election Night because of a computer soft-ware glitch.
Kirner, seeking re-election to his third term, was considered the favorite after defeating Krasner in the GOP primary. But because he failed to win more than 50 percent of the vote, and there were no other candidates on the ballot, the two met in what was essentially a runoff in the general election.
Krasner won the backing of the Nevada Republican Party’s leadership in a series of endorsements of conservatives that Gov. Brian Sandoval and other mainstream Republicans distanced themselves from earlier this year. She entered the race as a loud critic of Kirner’s role in pushing legislation in the Assembly last year that would have increased sales tax and property taxes to finance capital improvement projects for the aging inventory of Washoe County schools.
Kirner, who was named chairman of the Assembly’s influential Commerce and Labor Committee after the election, said he is not focused on the recount.
“That is her prerogative,” he told the Reno Gazette Journal on Monday. “For me, I am more focused on the business of the people.”
Krasner took to social media last week to appeal for contributions to help finance the recount.
“Over the last week I have been inundated with over a hundred phone calls and email messages from supporters like you, urging me to go forward with the recount,” she wrote on her campaign’s Facebook site. “Because of YOU, I have decided to go forward with the recount.”
Within hours, Krasner said she’d received all the help she needed and updated her post to thank her backers and tell them to stop sending money.
The 26th District on the city’s far west side along the Sierra foothills is the same one where Angle knocked off incumbent Republican Greg Brower in the 2002 primary after redistricting moved her there. In 2006, Angle narrowly lost a GOP congressional nomination to now-Sen. Dean Heller in a three-way primary. She won the GOP nomination for the right to challenge Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in 2010, but lost.