CARSON CITY, Nev (MyNews4.com & KRNV) -- The Nevada Supreme Court has ruled that termed-out Reno City Council members are not allowed to run for Mayor.
The decision was 5-2, in favor of Eddie Lorton's petition to deny Jessica Sferrazza and Dwight Dortch the opportunity to run for Reno Mayor. Sferrazza and Dortch have reached their term limits as members of the Reno City Council.
According to the Supreme Court's majority opinion, the Reno City Charter makes the Mayor a member of the city's "local governing body", and is subject to the same limitations that apply to the other City Council members.
Justices Hardesty, Gibbons, Douglas and Cherry ruled for Lorton's petition on the same grounds, while Justice Pickering ruled in favor for a different reason. Justices Saittta and Parraguirre voted against the petition.
This decision rules out Sferrazza and Dortch from the 2014 Mayoral race. Although he was not named in the petition, and had not announced his candidacy, it also rules out Ward 5's Dave Aiazzi, who is also termed-out.
Dwight Dortch said that he thought their arguments were strong. "I thought our case was strong. All of us walked out of there feeling were in good shape. We thought the law was on our side. I truly believed we were going to prevail in this."
In a statement released on Thursday, Jessica Sferrazza said that she is disappointed with the decision. "My love for Reno and my commitment to helping our community grow and prosper remains strong. Most importantly, I want to thank my friends and supporters who have remained at my side through this ordeal and assure them that we will continue to work together to better our city and improve the quality of life for our residents. I don’t have to be in public office to keep my pledge to you."
The remaining candidates that have announced their intention to file are Lorton and Reno Planning Commissioner Chuck Reno. In a statement, Reno said he agreed with the decision. "The voice of the people of Reno was upheld; Reno can now move forward. We are entering a new era in Reno history and I’m excited to be a part of it, not only as a current City of Reno Planning Commissioner, but as a Reno native and involved professional. The citizens of Reno deserve a mayor who has their interest at heart and strives for the success of Reno and the entire Truckee Meadows."
The filing period begins on March 3.