Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman voiced some harsh criticism of party politics but wouldn’t say if he would try to improve the system by running a nonpartisan campaign for governor.
Goodman and his wife, Carolyn, on Tuesday changed their registration status from Democrat to nonpartisan, but neither would say whether it was a prelude to a run for higher office.
Mayor Goodman has openly speculated about a run for governor, and Carolyn Goodman has been mentioned as a potential candidate to replace him at City Hall.
“I’m very disappointed with the way the two-party system has been working. It always ends up in gridlock,” Mayor Goodman said. “If I should run for something, I want to be able to do it my way. I think you can make a difference if you are nonpartisan.”
Goodman says he was a Republican before moving from Philadelphia to Las Vegas in 1964.
Carolyn Goodman said her future will be determined by her husband’s decision.
She said she wants to remain near him, which would seem to preclude simultaneous mayoral and gubernatorial campaigns. It wouldn’t stop her from running for mayor should Goodman decide against running for governor.
“I have to follow my husband,” she said. “I don’t want to live in a different place from where he is living.”
Polls show Mayor Goodman, 70, is the top choice among registered voters to become Nevada’s governor, even though he has yet to say whether he’ll run.
Earlier this month, Mason-Dixon Polling & Research reported that in a three- way race, 35 percent of respondents picked Goodman as an independent over Republican Brian Sandoval, who was favored by 32 percent, or Democrat Rory Reid, the choice of 24 percent. There was a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.
Mayor Goodman also talked about his health, which he said is good, and his energy level, which he said is high.
Although he is considered among the most popular politicians in the state, running without a party affiliation would be a challenge. No candidate from outside the major parties has won statewide office in Nevada.
“I’m taking this very seriously. If I do decide to run for something, I will run to win,” he said.