Nevada Board of Regents race: Downs, Laden lead in primary – Reno Gazette Journal

Written by Amanda

Nevada Board of Regents race: Downs, Laden lead in primary  Reno Gazette Journal

A sign for the University of Nevada, Reno

Candidates Jeffrey Downs and Steve Laden were leading in the primary election race for the District 11 seat on the Nevada Board of Regents as of Wednesday afternoon. 

Downs’ 9,182 votes, or 41% of the vote, outpaced Laden’s 7,748 votes and John Gwaltney’s 5,615 votes.

The top two vote getters will move on to the November general election. 

Downs is a college professor, Gwaltney is a former Truckee Meadows Community College president and Laden is retired from the financial services industry.

The winner in November will replace outgoing Regent Jason Geddes, who is termed out. District 11 oversees an area that includes Washoe and Humboldt and Pershing counties.

The 13-person elected board over the state’s public colleges including the University of Nevada, Reno and Truckee Meadows Community College 

Nevada Board of Regents District 11:Candidates on chancellor payout, loan forgiveness, more

Whoever is elected will be tasked with naming a permanent replacement for Chancellor Melody Rose. It will be the third chancellor search for the Board of Regents since 2020. 

Just days before the primary, the regents named Dale Erquiaga to the post as acting chancellor through the end of 2023.

Erquiaga is the former state superintendent overseeing K-12 education for two years in 2013. He was named the executive director at the Guinn Center, a research think tank, last year.  

Rose, who had the highest post in higher education in Nevada, resigned without much explanation from the board that had hired the former chancellor of the Oregon University System and the former president of Marylhurst University in June 2020. She left with a $610,000 payout in April after less than two years on the job.

Here’s more about the candidates: 

Jeffrey Downs

Age: 51

Education: Bachelors from California State University, San Bernardino; Masters from California State University Fullerton, Ph.D. candidate from Liberty University.

Personal life: Moved to Nevada in 2000. Married with three children. 

Career and experiences: Community College Professor, Interim Vice President of Student Success and Support Services at Western Nevada College, visiting lecturer at UNR, Nevada Faculty Alliance chapter president.   

Website: downs4district11.com

John Gwaltney

Age: 80

Education: Bachelor’s from Oakland City University, master’s from Ball State University; Ph.D. from Southern Illinois University

Career and experiences: Currently teaching one class at TMCC, former full-time community college professor; spent 18 years as a president of three community colleges, including TMCC; served eight years on the Nevada State Board of Education; served on the Reno/Sparks Chamber of Commerce

Personal life: Moved to Nevada in 1986 to become president of TMCC, married

Website: Drgwaltney.com

Steve Laden

Age: 61

Education:  Bachelors from University of California Santa Barbara.

Career and experiences: Currently retired, but spent 32 years in the financial services industry, including as Senior Vice President and Investment Officer for Wells Fargo.  Past board member and president of the Education Alliance of Washoe County, member of the State of Nevada Council to Establish Academic Standards, 

Personal life: Moved to Nevada 37 years ago. Married, with one son, granddaughter

Website: SteveLadenforRegent.com

Siobhan McAndrew tells stories about the people of Northern Nevada and covers education in Washoe County. Read her journalism right here. Consider supporting her work by subscribing to the Reno Gazette Journal

Source: rgj.com

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