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Las Vegas council members face election challenges

Campaign season in Nevada’s biggest city has only just begun, but City Council incumbents are already looking to salt away new terms in office.

None of Las Vegas’ three incumbents has drawn an experienced opponent, yet two have already hosted fundraisers aimed at piling up campaign cash and showing support from influential players.

In Ward 2, incumbent Bob Beers, 53, a former legislator, has held one fundraiser that included several lobbyists who are prominent in City Hall.

Beers was elected last year in a special election to replace Councilman Steve Wolfson, who was hired to be the Clark County district attorney.

In that race, Beers defeated Planning Commissioner Ric Truesdell, a favorite of Mayor Carolyn Goodman and former Mayor Oscar Goodman, and several others.

Since then Beers, who was known as an outspoken conservative voice in the Legislature, has quit his day-to-day duties at the accounting firm where he is a partner to focus full time on the council.

He is being challenged by Fayyaz Raja, 61, a businessman who was among the nine candidates who ran in the special election, garnering less than
2 percent of the vote.

In Ward 4, Stavros Anthony, 56, is running for a second term on the council. Anthony, who serves as mayor pro tem, is a retired Metropolitan Police Department captain.

He is being challenged by journalist Frank Geary, 49, who is seeking his first political office. Also running in Ward 4 is Dwayne Chesnut, 77, a retired chemical engineer. Chesnut has never held office but previously ran for regent in the Nevada System of Higher Education.

In Ward 6, incumbent Steve Ross, 50, is entering the election having easily fended off a recall challenge last year. In that race Ross, who is seeking his third term, defeated Planning Commissioner Byron Goynes by a margin of more than 2-to-1.

Ross faces two challengers, commercial real estate agent Suzette LaGrange, 40, and pest control company owner Paul Rodriguez, 40.

Although Ross is the only candidate with election experience, he doesn’t appear to be taking the race lightly. He has held one fundraiser at the Mob Museum downtown that included a long list of influential lobbyists and politicians.

Friday was the last day to file for the nonpartisan posts. The primary election is scheduled for April 2, and the general election is to be held June 4.

City Council members are paid an annual salary of $73,867, according to city records. They serve four-year terms.

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

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