None of Las Vegas’ or North Las Vegas’ City Council incumbents will win re-election without a fight. Three might even have to fight a soccer stadium.
Each of the Las Vegas City Council members up for re-election attracted at least one challenger when a nearly two-week filing period closed Friday, though the headline race remains a five-way fight for Mayor Carolyn Goodman’s seat.
That race and two others could turn into something of a referendum on a publicly subsidized $200 million downtown soccer stadium backed by Goodman and two City Council incumbents in December.
Two out of three sitting Las Vegas Municipal Court judges will run unopposed. Judge Cynthia Leung will face former mayoral candidate and attorney Yvette Chevalier.
Judges Martin Hastings and Bert Brown drew no challengers.
The filing period was just about as busy north of Carey Avenue, where seven candidates filed for three North Las Vegas City Council and Municipal Court seats.
Municipal Court Judge Sean Hoeffgen will run unopposed.
That number of filings isn’t unusual for an off-year municipal race, where incumbents tend to raise less money and attract fewer challengers than their peers in county and statewide elections.
Some municipal races could be decided within two months, as candidates who get 50 percent of primary votes April 7 will win outright. Races without a primary winner will see the top two vote-getters square off in the June 2 general election.
All offices are nonpartisan.
In both cities, the biggest surprises are likely still to come.
Las Vegas’ hottest race pits Mayor Pro Tem Stavros Anthony — a fierce opponent of using public funds to help pay for a $200 million downtown soccer stadium — against Mayor Goodman, the stadium’s staunchest supporter.
The issue of whether to spend $56 million in taxpayer money to help pay for the soccer stadium could wind up alongside Anthony’s name on the June ballot, a move many expect would give the former Metro officer a boost.
District Judge Jerry Wiese ruled Friday that the city should put the stadium subsidy question to voters, though that ruling still could be appealed.
Meanwhile, Anthony will be far from the only one looking to capitalize on the stadium controversy at the ballot box.
Bruce Feher, the man who served the city with the stadium ballot question suit, filed against Goodman on Wednesday.
Paralegal Margaret Ann Coleman and Internet marketer Phil Cory are the others looking to challenge the mayor’s stance on the stadium. Perennial candidate Abdul H. Shabazz could not be reached for comment on his stadium position.
Former Assembly candidate Megan Heryet filed against Councilman Bob Coffin, another stadium supporter, on Friday morning.
Heryet, a Republican who picked up 28 percent of Assembly District 15’s general election votes in 2012, could prove the favorite in a crowded field of five challengers.
That field includes fellow Republican and real estate agent Eric Krattiger, a campaign rookie who decided to run the moment he found out Coffin cast a swing vote for the 24,000-seat downtown soccer stadium.
Former North Las Vegas court staffer Alicia Garcia-Herrera, a Democrat, was the first to jump into the Coffin race. Herrera indicated her candidacy wasn’t specifically motivated by Coffin’s stance on the soccer stadium.
Republicans Hart Fleischhauer and Carlo Poliak round out Las Vegas’ deepest field of challengers.
Coffin said Heryet could prove a formidable opponent but said he still liked his re-election chances.
Republican Randy Voyard will provide Democrat and stadium supporter Ricki Barlow’s only competition in Ward 5. Voyard, who ran against Barlow in 2011, did not return requests for comment.
Councilwoman Lois Tarkanian, the only stadium subsidy foe set to appear on the June ballot, will face City Council meeting regular Raymond Fletcher. Fletcher did not return requests for comment.
NORTH LAS VEGAS
North Las Vegas Councilwoman Pamela Goynes-Brown will have to fight three challengers to keep her seat in Ward 2. Two political newcomers and one planning commissioner, who ran unsuccessfully for City Council in 1999, are running.
“Ward 2 has a lot of potential, and nobody is out there championing it,” Planning Commissioner Laura Perkins said. Perkins is a retired Geographic Information Systems technician who has lived in the city for 50 years.
“There’s things going on in every other ward but mine, and that’s what I see as a problem,” Perkins said. Her ward has been getting some attention recently for snagging a $485,000 Housing and Urban Development grant to revitalize two of its neighborhoods, Rose Gardens and Buena Vista Springs.
“It was fantastic to get that chunk of change, but it’s not enough money to do the project,” Perkins said, noting that the project would be a focus. She grew up in that area. “Now we have the opportunity to change the flavor of the entire neighborhood, and I’m really excited about that.”
In January, Goynes-Brown mentioned the project as one of the things she was most excited about continuing to work on as a councilwoman since groundwork already had been laid by getting the grant. Goynes-Brown said voters should re-elect her as her first years in office were some of the city’s most challenging times.
“I think we’ve made lots and lots of progress. We have a council that works well together,” she said “You don’t want to start over.”
Also running are Richard “Dick” Moyer, 68, a retired Army sergeant who has 30 years of experience in the transportation industry and has lived in the city for 17 years, and 34-year-old retired Army Staff Sgt. Richard Carreon, a city resident for six months.
Ward 4 is a wide-open race but only drew two challengers.
Former Councilman Richard Cherchio is looking to win back the spot he lost to Councilman Wade Wagner by a single vote. Wagner decided not to seek re-election and said instead he was backing Randy Robison, the director of legislative affairs with CenturyLink and a former executive director of the Nevada Association of School Boards, who did not file.
Cherchio will face off against chiropractor Matthew Anderson, 55.
“This is all pretty new to me. I have not ever run for public office before,” Anderson said.
“I’m just kind of the little guy in the group.”
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