Incumbents sweep all three Las Vegas City Council races

Incumbents cruised to victory in three Las Vegas City Council races Tuesday, with Steve Ross, Stavros Anthony and Bob Beers retaining their seats.

Ward 6 was the closest race, with Ross getting nearly 53 percent of the vote compared with 43 percent for Suzette LaGrange and less than 5 percent for Paul Rodriguez.

In Ward 2, Beers won 76 percent of the vote compared with 24 percent for Fayyaz Raja.

In Ward 2 Anthony, who is mayor pro tem, won 76 percent to 24 percent over Frank Geary.

Beers, 53, will be serving his first full term after winning a special election last year to replace Steve Wolfson.

Anthony, 56, won a second term.

Ross, 50, elected to his third full term, was unavailable to comment after checking into a hospital Tuesday.

Family friend Steve Redlinger said Ross wasn’t feeling well Tuesday afternoon and decided to go to the hospital at the urging of his wife, Kelli.

“After an initial evaluation, Steve is feeling much better. However, doctors have advised him that they want to perform a few follow-up exams,” he said.

Ward 6 also was the costliest race, with Ross and LaGrange spending six figures on their campaigns. Ross raised $238,054 in cash contributions from Jan. 1 through March 28, more than double the $100,218 LaGrange raised during that period.

Ross used the funding advantage to try to polish his image with voters, said Ronni Council, a Democratic political consultant. Council described multiple flyers that landed in her mailbox depicting Ross as “a working person, a regular guy.”

In addition to regular elections in 2005 and 2009, Ross faced a recall election last year. In that campaign Planning Commissioner Byron Goynes sought to bump off the incumbent.

LaGrange was perhaps the strongest candidate to challenge Ross since he first won a council seat in 2005.

She worked to emphasize her credentials as a conservative Republican who would scrutinize spending more closely than Ross, a former union official who has taken heat for voting to spend tens of millions of dollars on projects like a new City Hall building and the Mob Museum.

LaGrange, a commercial real estate broker, also has experience recruiting businesses to Southern Nevada as a member of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development Familiarization Tour Committee.

Near the beginning of early voting, however, Ross hit LaGrange with an accusation that she once supported creating toll lanes for traffic on U.S. Highway 95, a charge she denied.

Conservative political consultant Chuck Muth credited LaGrange for using political partisanship to attempt to differentiate herself from Ross.

Muth said highlighting the differences between herself and Ross on issues that appeal to Republicans, such as profligate government spending, was a smart attempt at motivating voters she would need to oust the incumbent.

“I think that is a good thing,” Muth said. “I don’t believe there is any such thing as a nonpartisan race.”

In the Ward 4 race, Anthony credited his win to emphasizing his signature accomplishments, such as a new fire station in Sun City Summerlin, street and median improvements and focusing on code enforcement.

He also took a shot at Geary for criticizing him in campaign material, including questioning his citizenship.

City Council terms last four years and the annual salary is $73,687.

Voter turnout in the three wards that had races was about 10 percent, less than both Henderson and North Las Vegas.

Contact reporter Benjamin Spillman at bspillman@ or 702-383-0285 .

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