District Court Department 18 

Holthus v. Hunt

Former Clark County Democratic Party chairman John Hunt ran unsuccessfully for Attorney General in 2002 and for Clark County District Attorney in 2012. Now, he’s trying to unseat Judge Mary Kay Holthus, who was elected to the bench in 2018.  He’s even got the endorsement of Holthus’ former boss, Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson.  

“I don’t know why Mr. Wolfson chose to endorse my opponent,” Holthus said in a statement to the Current. “What I do know, and what I am proud of and honored by are the endorsements of the Clark County Prosecutors’ Association, which represents over 130 Deputy District Attorneys who are in court every day, and the Public Safety Alliance of Nevada, which represents nearly 100 law enforcement organizations and nearly 10,000 officers throughout Nevada.”

But Holthus lacks experience in civil cases. 

“I really believe the way to have the best judiciary is to have an experienced judiciary,” says Hunt.

“I have 36 years of courtroom and trial experience. She has none,” he says, noting the department is assigned twice as many civil cases as criminal.

Holthus, an experienced criminal litigator, has been appealed 33 times since her election to the bench in 2018, with no reversals.    

“I don’t have any angst with her. I think she’s qualified to hear criminal calendars but when two-thirds of your docket is civil,” Hunt says, alleging Holthus has to “ask her clerk for the answer” on some matters. “I saw it with my own eyes. It was an administrative case.”

Hunt has cleared the vetting process of the state’s Judicial Selection Committee but did not win a gubernatorial appointment.  

“But I was very proud that I was nominated. It verified my experience, my commitment to the community,” he says. 

Hunt says taxpayers are currently “paying for judges to gain on the job experience.” He says litigants engage in private arbitration “because they don’t have faith in the people down there who have no legal experience.”   

As of October 15, Hunt had raised $110,617 had $10,854 on hand. Holthus had raised $107,208 and had $42,392 remaining.

Dana Gentry
Reporter | Dana Gentry is a native Las Vegan and award-winning investigative journalist. She is a graduate of Bishop Gorman High School and holds a Bachelor's degree in Communications from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Gentry began her career in broadcasting as an intern at Channel 8, KLAS-TV. She later became a reporter at Channel 8, working with Las Vegas TV news legends Bob Stoldal and the late Ned Day. Gentry left her reporting job in 1985 to focus on motherhood. She returned to TV news in 2001 to launch "Face to Face with Jon Ralston" and the weekly business programs In Business Las Vegas and Vegas Inc, which she co-anchored with Jeff Gillan. Dana has four adult children, a grandson, three dogs, three cats and a cockatoo named Casper.