Maxfield says no to re-election bid

CORRECTION -- 10/09/07 -- In a Saturday Review-Journal story on Clark County Commissioner Chip Maxfield, Las Vegas City Councilman Larry Brown’s political party was misidentified. Brown is a Democrat.

More than a year before his term is set to expire, Clark County Commissioner Chip Maxfield has announced that he does not intend to run for re-election in 2008.

Maxfield did not return a phone message Friday, but Commission Chairman Rory Reid confirmed Maxfield's decision.

"Chip has served with honor and distinction and will be sorely missed," Reid said in a prepared statement. "The only consolation is that we're going to have him around until January 2009."

Maxfield's commission seat is one of four up for re-election in 2008. Commissioners Bruce Woodbury, Tom Collins and Lawrence Weekly are expected to run for re-election. Weekly was appointed to a two-year term after Yvonne Atkinson Gates abruptly resigned in February.

Although Maxfield will oversee District C throughout next year, names of possible candidates already have surfaced. A source close to District 4 Assemblywoman Francis Allen say she is considering a run. Las Vegas City Councilman Larry Brown, whose ward overlaps areas of Maxfield's district, also might be in the hunt.

Like Maxfield, both potential candidates are Republicans. Neither Allen nor Brown returned messages left Friday.

Maxfield jumped into the race for the District C seat in 2000 when incumbent commissioner Lance Malone was under attack for reneging on a promise to residents and voting in favor of a controversial neighborhood casino.

Maxfield captured 62 percent of the primary election vote to unseat Malone, who since has pleaded guilty to bribing elected officials and is serving a six-year term in federal prison. In the general election, Maxfield narrowly defeated now-Las Vegas City Councilwoman Lois Tarkanian.

Four years later, Maxfield held onto his seat by defeating Clark County deputy district attorney Jerry Tao.

During his tenure, critics questioned whether Maxfield abstained too often because of his partial ownership in Southwest Engineering, a firm that he founded two decades ago. In 2004, shortly before his re-election bid, Maxfield sold his interest in the firm.

Maxfield is a licensed professional engineer in Nevada and Utah and is a state water rights surveyor for Nevada. He has been married to his wife, Kathey, for 29 years and has five children.