How much of an underdog is Wesley Cornwell?
He's only 21, is a Republican in an overwhelmingly Democratic district and has raised a pittance compared with his opponent.
Nevertheless, he's been campaigning and believes his background as a small-business owner gives him a unique perspective that's needed on the county commission.
"I know what we need in county government to bring jobs to the county," Cornwell said.
But Lawrence Weekly is widely known in District D - he served on the Las Vegas City Council before being elected to the commission - and the incumbent says he looks forward to working with lawmakers when the Legislature convenes in February. The county is asking the state for several things, including changes in the governance structure of University Medical Center.
Commissioners also function as the county hospital board, but some feel the responsibility should be given to a separate board that includes doctors and other community members.
If re-elected , Weekly wants to craft a long-term solution for the hospital, which has lost tens of millions of dollars the last few years.
"I really want to get a handle on UMC," he said. "I'd really like to turn the image of UMC around, and put it out there that people don't feel so negative and pessimistic about caring for indigent people."
Weekly said he would return with a wealth of knowledge and experience from his first four years as commissioner.
Cornwell said he would be a more proactive commissioner. He's critical that the commission didn't act on police shootings and still hasn't resolved the coroner's inquest process. Inquests, quasi-judicial hearings meant to air the facts around fatal police encounters, have been stalled for more than a year because of lawsuits filed by police unions.
"If the county commissioners would have been paying attention the first time, then, A, we'd have a system that's working for everybody, then, B, with some policy revisions could have stopped some of the shootings," he said.
Weekly said that Cornwell doesn't understand the process and that the commission has little oversight of Las Vegas police outside of budget issues.
"Could the inquest process be a whole lot better? Absolutely," Weekly said. "Is Metro perfect? No, they are not."
But, "These are good community partners who have made a significant difference," Weekly said, noting that crime has dropped significantly in parts of his district.
Contact reporter Lawrence Mower at email@example.com or 702-405-9781.