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Election Day: Intrigue and nail-biters

A sitting judge whose son is a robbery suspect got trounced. A North Las Vegas City Council race was decided by a single vote after the winner urged his neighbor to go to the polls at the last minute. A former state senator won a seat on the Las Vegas City Council, where he’ll be joined by the wife of the outgoing mayor.

Election day in Clark County was full of intrigue.

The big news of the day, of course, was Carolyn Goodman’s 20 percentage point win over Chris Giunchigliani to replace Goodman’s husband, Oscar, as Las Vegas mayor.

But the nail-biter of the night was in North Las Vegas, where Wade Wagner beat Richard Cherchio by a single vote in the City Council race in Ward 4. Wagner said he urged a neighbor to go to the polls before they closed.

Back in Las Vegas, Bob Coffin, a former state senator, defeated Adriana Martinez 53 percent to 48 percent for City Council in Ward 3. A sitting municipal judge in department 3, George Assad, got just 43 percent of the vote to Heidi Almase’s 57 percent. Assad is the father of Bellagio robbery suspect Michael Anthony Carleo. And Susan Roger defeated Sonny Bonaventure 52 percent to 48 percent for municipal court department 2.

In North Las Vegas, Pamela Goynes-Brown defeated Linda Meisenheimer 59 percent to 41 percent for City Council in Ward 2.

Also in North Las Vegas, Catherine Ramsey defeated Marsha Kimble-Simms 58 percent to 42 percent for municipal court department 1.

In Henderson, Sam Bateman defeated Mike Mayberry 63 percent to 37 percent for City Council in Ward 4.

9:44 p.m.: Same name, new leader

With all the votes counted, Carolyn Goodman defeated Chris Giunchigliani 60.5 percent to 39.5 percent for Las Vegas mayor. The vote tally was 33,104 for Goodman and 21,601 for Giunchigliani.

Bob Coffin defeated Adriana Martinez 52.5 percent to 47.5 percent for City Council in Ward 3. The vote tally was 2,542 to 2,300.

In North Las Vegas, Pamela Goynes-Brown defeated Linda Meisenheimer 58.9 percent to 41.1 percent for City Council in Ward 2. The vote tally was 1,060 to 739.

Wade Wagner defeated Richard Cherchio 50.01 percent to 49.99 percent for City Council in Ward 4. The vote tally was 1,831 to 1,830.

In Henderson, Sam Bateman defeated Mike Mayberry 63.2 percent to 36.8 percent for City Council in Ward 4. The vote tally was 8,330 to 4,843.

9:28 p.m.: Another Goodman at the helm

Carolyn Goodman declared victory over Chris Giunchigliani in the Las Vegas mayoral race shortly after 9 p.m.

Giunchigliani conceded to Goodman.

"I’m just thrilled. Thanks for electing me as your mayor, Vegas," Goodman tweeted at 9:20 p.m.

In a speech, she thanked her supporters and credited more than 500 volunteers for working so hard.

Giunchigliani vowed to keep serving the public, noting that she remains a Clark County commissioner.

9:21 p.m.: End near at 97 percent reporting

With 97 percent of the precincts reporting, Carolyn Goodman’s lead over Chris Giunchigliani remained 60 percent to 40 percent.

With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Bob Coffin defeated Adriana Martinez 53 percent to 47 percent in the City Council Ward 3 race.

With 97 percent of the precincts reporting, Susan Roger is leading Sonny Bonaventure 52 percent to 48 percent in the municipal court department 2 race.

Also with 97 percent reporting, Heidi Almase is leading George Assad 57 percent to 43 percent in the municipal court department 3 race. Assad is the father of the suspect in the robbery of the Bellagio casino.

In North Las Vegas, the closest race of the night could not have been any closer without tying. With 100 percent of the precincts reporting, Wade Wagner defeated Richard Cherchio by a single vote in the race for City Council Ward 4.

In Ward 2, Pamela Goynes-Brown defeated Linda Meisenheimer 59 percent to 41 percent. For municipal court department 1, Catherine Ramsey defeated Marsha Kimble-Simms 58 percent to 42 percent.

In Henderson, Sam Bateman defeated Mike Mayberry 63 percent to 37 percent for City Council in Ward 4.

9:07 p.m.: They’re in it ’til the bitter end

Carolyn Goodman remained ahead 60 percent to 40 percent, but she would not say it was over.

"I really don’t believe until everything’s in that we can declare a victory," she said at her headquarters, where about 300 supporters seemed relaxed and confident.

Despite the numbers, a crowd of 80 to 100 seemed upbeat at the Chris Giunchigliani event. There was lots of posing for pictures and hugging.

Even though she was behind 20 percentage points, Giunchigliani refused to concede.

"We are not ready to give up," she told a TV interviewer, and the crowd cheered.

8:54 p..m.: Mayor’s race ain’t over until … one of them declares it

Carolyn Goodman has a seemingly insurmountable lead over Chris Giunchigliani. While neither candidate has declared the race over, they and their supporters are reflecting on the possibility that it is.

Goodman’s sons, Ross and Oscar Jr., have the potential to have both their parents serve as mayor.

"My parents always said, ‘You could be a big fish in a small pond, or a small fish in a big pond,’" Goodman Jr. said. "This is the big fish in the small pond. One person can make a big difference here. I don’t think this could happen in any other city."

Ross Goodman said, "My mom"s going to be able to finish what my dad started."

Giunchigliani emphasized how hard she worked. She said that if she loses, she looks forward to working with Carolyn Goodman.

"I’m still a county commissioner," she said. "No matter what, I’m not going away."

8:46 p.m.: Close race in Ward 4

With the Las Vegas mayoral race anything but close — Carolyn Goodman was up 60 percent to 40 percent over Chris Giunchigliani — the race for City Council Ward 4 in North Las Vegas was coming down to the wire.

With 90 percent of the precincts reporting, Richard Cherchio had a three-vote lead over Wade Wagner. That’s three votes, not three percentage points.

If the vote ends up in a certified tie, state law calls for a tie-breaker, such as the drawing of cards. That last happened in North Las Vegas’ Ward 2 race in the April primary. Linda Meisenheimer won a card draw and advanced to Tuesday’s general election. With 78 percent of the precincts reporting in that race, Meisenheimer was losing 59 percent to 41 percent for Pamela Goynes-Brown.

8:15 p.m.: Both mayor’s candidates still upbeat

With 9 percent of precincts reporting, Carolyn Goodman’s lead over Chris Giunchigliani remained at 61 percent to 39 percent.

Goodman, when congratulated by a supporter, said, "Well, we’re not there yet, but thank you." Later, she tweeted, "I’m hopeful!"

Giunchigliani told supporters, "Don’t count me out yet."

7:51 p.m.: Mayor’s race reflecting the polls

With early voting totals showing Carolyn Goodman with a commanding 61 percent to 39 percent lead over Chris Giunchigliani in the Las Vegas mayoral race, mild applause rang out at Goodman’s headquarters. Polls had shown Goodman to be widely ahead.

Other races were closer.

Bob Coffin and Adriana Martinez were in a dead-heat for Las Vegas City Council in Ward 3, with Coffin leading 52 percent to 48 percent.

Susan Roger led Sonny Bonaventure 53 percent to 47 percent in the municipal court department 2 race, while Heidi Almase led George Assad 58 percent to 42 percent for municipal court department 3. Assad is the father of the suspect in the Bellagio casino robbery.

In North Las Vegas, Richard Cherchio and Wade Wagner were locked in a dead-heat for the Ward 4 council seat, with Wagner up by less than a single percentage point. Pamela Goynes-Brown was leading Linda Meisenheimer 59 percent to 41 percent in the Ward 2 council race, while Catherine Ramsey was leading Marsha Kimble-Simms 61 percent to 39 percent.

In Henderson, Sam Bateman held a large lead over Mike Mayberry in the City Council Ward 4 race, up 63 percent to 37 percent.

7:39 p.m.: Early results show Goodman in wide lead over Giunchigliani

Carolyn Goodman is holding a wide lead over Chris Giunchigliani in the Las Vegas mayoral race as the early voting results come in.

Goodman holds a 61 percent to 39 percent lead over Giunchigliani, according to results posted on Clark County’s elections website.

The race for City Council Ward 3 was much closer, with Bob Coffin just 84 votes ahead of Adriana Martinez.

In North Las Vegas, the race for City Council Ward 4 was even closer, with Wade Wagner ahead of Richard Cherchio by just 21 votes.

7:27 p.m.: Mayoral candidates awaiting early results as polls close

Both candidates for Las Vegas mayor arrived at their respective headquarters moments after the polls closed at 7 p.m.

Larry Lomax, Clark County registrar of voters, said the polls closed on time with no lines. Early results are expected to be released soon.

Overall, voter turnout appeared to be low. By 3 p.m., turnout was below 20 percent in the city of Las Vegas and 15 percent countywide.

6:36 p.m.: Goodman volunteers getting ready for candidate’s arrival

At Carolyn Goodman’s campaign headquarters near the Meadows mall, volunteers are filling balloons and placing table settings in preparation for Goodman’s arrival around 7 p.m.

12:34 p.m.: Turnout light for Las Vegas elections; other areas slow

Misti Johnson stood in the parking lot of Desert Vista Community Center in Sun City Summerlin Tuesday morning with her hands full of American flags to give to voters.

"It’s been slow. I’m hoping it will pick up by lunch. Maybe they’re late risers," said the sister-in-law of Las Vegas Municipal Judge George Assad, who is running for re-election.

Inside the polling place the nearly dozen poll workers outnumbered the voters, who included Jim and Dorothy Sincich.

They always vote but this year received constant reminders because of the high-profile Las Vegas mayoral race between Chris Giunchigliani and Carolyn Goodman.

"I got 18 phone calls yesterday," Dorothy Sincich said. "I got them in the morning, afternoon and even supper."

The contest to replace outgoing Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman is easily the most-watched contest among today’s Southern Nevada municipal races.

Giunchigliani voted Tuesday morning at Griffith United Methodist Church, while Carolyn Goodman voted at the Public Administrator’s Office alongside her husband.

Their votes were among the 5,463 cast as of 10:30 a.m. Tuesday in Las Vegas, by far more than any other city but still "light," said Larry Lomax, Clark County’s registrar of voters.

"The others are pathetic," he said.

In Henderson, 834 votes had been cast, followed by 643 in North Las Vegas, 211 in Boulder City and 183 in Mesquite.

If historical trends hold, voter turnout in Las Vegas could reach 25 to 30 percent of the city’s 225,000 registered voters. The other cities will be lucky to reach 10 percent, Lomax said.

"It is a beautiful day," he said. "No one has any excuse not to vote today."

Just under 40,000 people cast ballots during early voting, about 9 percent of the 438,985 registered voters in Clark County. More than half of those early voters, nearly 25,000, were in Las Vegas.

Polls will be open until 7 p.m. Anyone in line to vote at 7 p.m. will be allowed to cast a ballot.

Review-Journal reporters Brian Haynes, Mike Blasky, Lawrence Mower, Lynnette Curtis, Carrie Geer and Alan Choate contributed to this story.

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