Although the race for mayor in our fair city is still a year away, it already promises to be a grueling battle for the city’s highest spot of power.

After 12 years, current Mayor Bob Cashell will step down in 2014 due to term limits, and many viable and eager candidates are ready to fight for the position, including prominent members, past and present, of the Reno City Council such as Dave Aiazzi, Jessica Sferrazza and Dwight Dortch. Other candidates include George “Eddie” Lorton and Dennis “Mickey” Lufkin.

Even with 11 months to go, there has already been much controversy surrounding the mayoral race. It seems that the esteemed good ol’ boy Cashell has made enough of an impact for people to begin whining about the circumstances under which one can run for mayor.

Namely Lorton, who filed a lawsuit to have two-termed Reno City Council members be prevented from running for mayor. This would include Sferrazza, who no longer serves, and Dortch, who is currently still completing his term. Both already plan to fundraise for their campaigns and seem confident that they will not have any issues entering the political arena come next year.

Then you have Lufkin, whose views of what Reno could be, while noble, can be seen as a bit idealistic. His strive for ending homelessness is lofty and respectable, but the costs of such an endeavor have yet to be discussed. And we all know money is one thing the city is very concerned with, or did we all forget the Aces Stadium fiasco?

Dortch, Sferrazza and Aiazzi are all experienced players in the city, something Lorton believes could hinder them as the correct choice. He believes he will bring fresh eyes as someone who has never been involved with local politics but has an extensive law background.

However, we would be remiss to say that the three have not had a solid following. Particularly Aiazzi, who, during his time on the council, was consistently one of the few to always speak up for the underdog. He went to bat for a lot of policies the rest of the council was against, like the permit issue involving the major beer crawls in Reno. His efficiency and personable nature has helped create a large draw, and many believe the contest won’t be one at all, but rather a sweep for Aiazzi.

But it will be a battle. It could be true that fresh eyes are exactly what this city needs – a mind apart from the ones that have already dipped their toes in the murky world of Nevada politics. But experience is something to be valued, and that goes without saying.

No matter what happens, we Renoites should be ready for a wild ride, one similar to the way we like to live our lives. It’s been made obviously apparent that after Cashell, the city is ready for change.

The Nevada Sagebrush editorial staff can be reached at editor@nevadasagebrush.com.