Outfunded in her campaign and outshined in public appearances, Cathy Rosenfield lost her election battle with Kathleen Vermillion in 2009. Three years later, the Green Valley mother of two grown children hopes to replace Vermillion on the Henderson City Council.
Vermillion shocked her colleagues on Tuesday when she announced she's stepping down Jan. 1 to spend more time with her children and with the Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth, the charity outreach program she founded more than a decade ago.
"I do have an interest in filling the vacancy," said Rosenfield, who has a degree in business management. "I can work with complex budgets, and I think the City Council will recognize that."
Rosenfield also spent 10 years in a variety of volunteer roles for the city, including a term as chairwoman of the city's Parks and Recreation Advisory Board.
"I played a key role in bringing the Whitney Ranch Recreation Center to Henderson," she said.
Rosenfield has been involved in educational issues and said she would push the council to support enhanced educational opportunities in Henderson.
"That's what we really need to diversity the economy and change the type of businesses in Henderson," she said. "I love Henderson and I've been dedicated to it for a very long time."
She's not the only one who has thrown her hat into the ring.
Erin Lale wasted no time announcing she also wants to replace Vermillion.
Lale, a Libertarian who lives in Vermillion's Ward 3 in Green Valley, ran for Assembly District 29 in 2010 and collected 4.3 percent of the vote in the three-person race, losing to incumbent Democrat April Mastroluca.
"I think I'll bring common sense to the council," Lale said. "That's my strength. I can see through the haze and come up with pragmatic solutions."
Bruce Cutler, a Republican who challenged Vermillion in 2009, also contacted the newspaper to say he would once again seek the Ward 3 seat in the 2013 election. Cutler captured about 10.8 percent of the vote in the five-person primary in 2009.
Attempts to contact Brandon Casutt, Jim Dunn and Jason Frayer, who also ran for the open seat in 2009, were unsuccessful.
What process the city will use to choose Vermillion's replacement remains unclear, but it's safe to suggest the council won't do it by secret ballot.
City Communications Director Bud Cranor said it is highly unlikely the city will replace Vermillion in the same manner it filled a seat in 2009 when a vacancy opened up in Ward 2 after Andy Hafen was elected mayor.
That year the City Council cast secret ballots when it selected Councilwoman Debra March to take the seat, which prompted the Las Vegas Review-Journal to file an open meeting law complaint with the Nevada attorney general.
Senior Deputy Attorney General George Taylor agreed with the newspaper, finding that the city failed to adequately inform the public about each member's vote.
Members of the City Council took corrective action by disclosing their respective vote weeks later, and the state took no action.
March, a former planning commissioner for the city, easily won election to a full term in April's primary, earning 54 percent of the vote.
Cranor said City Clerk Sabrina Mercadante at the council's Dec. 20 meeting will provide a number of options for members to choose from in picking a new Ward 3 council member.
Whatever process the city uses, it will have to move fairly quickly. The Henderson City Charter requires vacancies to be filled within 30 days. City Council elections are nonpartisan.
Contact Doug McMurdo at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-224-5512.