Local VIPs rely on trusted outfits, items to boost their fortunes

The day the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act , former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had a lot of people to thank for the historic ruling. But the ardent proponent of the bill also gave a little credit to the shoes she wore that day, now known as her "lucky purple pumps."

She had them on the day the act passed the House of Representatives in 2010. She wore them again June 28 hoping for the same results.

Pelosi isn't the only person in a position of power who relies on a little extra luck when she has a big day ahead of her. Locally, politicians and other notable members of the community have been known to do the same.

The last time North Las Vegas Mayor Shari Buck pulled out her grandmother's wedding ring was in June for a City Hall meeting in which she knew budgets and layoffs would be discussed. How'd it work out for her? "Good," she says.

Her grandmother died in 2007, a day before Buck was sworn into City Council.

"My grandmother always said, 'Don't get your stress factor up, baby,' " Buck recalls. And, with the help of that ring, she doesn't.

Nevada Secretary of State Ross Miller's lucky charm was also passed down through his family. In an email he says, "I have a pair of cuff links with the initials RM on them that belonged to my grandfather Ross Miller, who ran a few casinos in town. My dad (Robert) owned them and then passed them along to me when I became a prosecutor."

He wears them whenever he needs a bit of luck, such as election nights, during big speeches and for public appearances.

Not all lucky charms are worn, though. Outside the realm of politics, Doug Eisner signs multimillion-dollar real estate deals with his lucky pen. The managing director of The Calida Group, the largest multifamily real estate development and investment firm in Nevada, has had the pen since a mentor bestowed him with it as a form of congratulations.

That was five years ago, when he opened his own firm. Every deal he's closed since then bears the ink of that pen.

But, that's for his professional life. For his personal life, he has other sources of good luck.

"I got my first-date dress shirt," he says. "I also have my third-date shirt. It's easier to get out of."

Chef Carla Pellegrino of the restaurant Bacio by Carla Pellegrino and Bratalian takes the term "lucky charm" literally. Hers is a charm a fortune-teller in Brazil gave her. She keeps it on a necklace and wears it for special occasions.

Of course, such superstitions aren't for everyone. Clark County Commissioner Lawrence Weekly wears a gold cross daily to remind him of his many blessings, but makes clear that he believes in blessings, not luck.

Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman believes in lucky charms, but she wants the luck every day, not just when a big speech is in order. That's why she can be seen every day wearing a cartouche she picked up in Cairo during the '70s. It spells out "Oscar," the name of her husband and predecessor.

She also sports a gold snail pinky ring, a gift from her parents for her 18th birthday. Although she wears both pieces of jewelry every day, she still considers them lucky.

He wears a uniform to work, but Sheriff Doug Gillespie doesn't have a pair of shoes, watch or pin that he wears during big press conferences or other high-pressure moments. In a statement provided through Metropolitan Police Department spokesman Jose Hernandez, he simply said: "No, no lucky items. Just a big heart."

Contact Xazmin Garza at xgarza@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0477. Follow her on Twitter @startswithanx.