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Reno Gazette-Journal - Pickering Defeats Schumacher for Nevada Supreme Court

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Reno Gazette-Journal - Pickering Defeats Schumacher for Nevada Supreme Court

Martha Bellisle

Las Vegas lawyer Kris Pickering won the $1.5 million race for the open seat on the Nevada Supreme Court, with 19 percent of the ballots cast for neither candidate..

Pickering had 42 percent of the vote, while Washoe District Judge Schumacher had 39 percent in the aggressively fought race.

Pickering, who practices in Reno and Las Vegas, watched the returns from her Southern Nevada home, and said she was heartened by her early lead.

Schumacher, a judge in the family division, said she knew the race would be close, based on two contradicting polls on their race. Pickering was reported ahead in a recent poll by a newspaper in Southern Nevada, but Schumacher was favored in a recent poll done for the Reno Gazette-Journal.

Pickering led in fundraising, reporting $399,679 in contributions, including $250,000 of her own money, in her latest campaign finance report. That brought her total campaign budget to $951,757 — with more than $600,000 of her own funds.

Schumacher's latest report said she brought in $213,225 since August, bringing her campaign total to $530,965.

The two sought a seat left open with the retirement of Justice Bill Maupin. Supreme Court justices serve six-year terms and earn an annual salary of $170,000.

The race for Supreme Court Seat D was easier to predict. Chief Justice Mark Gibbons held off his challenger, Thomas Christensen, a lawyer from Las Vegas.

"I'm really happy," said Gibbons, who was celebrating the results with a group of friends at his home. "I think after we got my record out the people responded. We've been campaigning since January, so my weekends have been spent campaigning. My wife will be happy."

Gibbons has served on the Supreme Court since 2002, and spent six years on the bench in the Clark County District Court, where he also served as chief judge. Christensen has been practicing law since 1981, and specializes in personal injury cases.

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