Buck easily wins third term

North Las Vegas City Councilwoman Shari Buck is headed to the beach.

“After every election, my dad and I walk on the beach at night looking at all the stars and talking about life,” she said. “It’s a tradition.”

It helps, of course, if the election was a successful one, as it was for Buck on Tuesday night.

The 46-year-old easily won a third and final term as representative of Ward 4.

“I know everybody says this, but I’m just so grateful that people have confidence in me and feel like I’ve done a good job,” she said. “It’s very humbling.”

Buck captured 57 percent of the vote. Challenger Richard Cherchio, a retired letter carrier, garnered 24 percent of the vote. Buck’s other challengers, Deborah Lewis and Jo Cato, got 12 percent and 7 percent of the vote, respectively.

Buck will not face a June 5 runoff for the seat because she received more than 50 percent of the vote in Tuesday’s municipal primary election.

Cherchio, Lewis and Cato had each criticized the way Buck has handled growth in North Las Vegas, now the nation’s second-fastest-growing large city.

Much of Buck’s $185,000 in campaign contributions came from developers, casinos and other businesses.

The incumbent defended the way she has helped manage growth and said the good relationship she has with developers is necessary to bring jobs, shopping and housing to the city.

She focused her campaign on bringing more police and fire personnel to her district and the city as a whole and tackling traffic problems.

On Tuesday, she said she feels like the city is “going to start solving some traffic problems here soon.”

“I’m going to insist that developers have to put roads in before they do development,” she said. “It’s getting to the point in my district where that has to be done.”

Buck will be forced to retire in 2011 because of the three-term limit imposed on council members beginning in 1999.

One North Las Vegas voter demonstrated that despite its phenomenal growth and a population of more than 200,000, North Las Vegas is still a small town at heart.

“Her (Buck’s) daughter is on my daughter’s cheerleading squad,” Mary Jo Conte said with a smile when asked why she voted for the incumbent on Tuesday at Findlay Middle School. “Sometimes your kids help you vote.”

Conte added that she had seen some of Buck’s campaign literature and was impressed by it.

Other voters expressed disgust at relatively low voter turnout. Only about 2,400 North Las Vegans had voted as of 9 p.m. At Sun City Aliante, exercisers at the community center’s gym far outnumbered the nearby voters.

“I think it’s terrible that no one’s voting,” said 61-year-old Mark Curley. “What a shame.”

Curley said he cast his vote for Richard Cherchio because Cherchio seemed more concerned about older North Las Vegans. “The lady that’s running (Buck) seems like a nice person, but she doesn’t address anything that has to do with senior citizens,” he said.

North Las Vegas City Councilman William Robinson is defending his Ward 2 seat this year. But because he drew only one challenger, 41-year-old Las Vegas Library Assistant John Stephens, both men will automatically proceed to the general election.

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