City Councilman believes Goodman will run for Governor

During a relaxed drive around Lincoln County on Sunday, Las Vegas City Councilman Gary Reese said he’s 95 percent sure that Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman will run for governor. “I think he’s going to run, and if he runs, he’ll run as an independent,” Reese said.

Goodman is already prepping for a run, Reese said, plus he has the blessing of his wife, Carolyn. “She’s concerned about if he doesn’t run, what’s he going to do?”

While there will be a slew of federal judgeships available in the next few years, Goodman “doesn’t want to be a judge,” Reese said.

Goodman and Reese are both term-limited when their terms expire in 2011 and while it’s widely thought Reese would run for mayor. Reese said if Goodman runs for governor, he might want to be part of a Goodman administration instead of running for mayor.

In Reese’s estimation, Goodman “is probably the greatest Las Vegas mayor” and described the mayor and former mob attorney as “a peacemaker.”

If Goodman ran as an independent, he’d most likely pull more from the Democrats than the Republicans and would probably do more harm to the chances of Clark County Commissioner Rory Reid, a Democrat, than to the GOP candidate.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal’s August poll showed Goodman, running as a Democrat, lagged behind GOP gubernatorial candidate Brian Sandoval 39-45 percent with 17 percent undecided. Statewide, Goodman fared better with women and Democrats, while Sandoval showed stronger with men, Republicans and independent voters.

But Goodman beat Gov. Jim Gibbons 56 to 29 percent in a general election and in a Democratic primary, also bested Reid.

If he ran as an independent, Goodman would automatically be on the November ballot without having to bother with an expensive primary.

But if he can’t hold the independents and wouldn’t have the Democratic organizational get-out-the-vote machine working on his behalf, Goodman might not glide into the governor’s job as easily as he hopes.

But I’m sure that not what his advisors are telling him.

And his wife’s concern is legitimate. If Goodman doesn’t run for governor, what will he do?