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Hastings captures seat on LV court

Martin Hastings will be the next Las Vegas Municipal Court judge, winning a seat that handles misdemeanors and has been a steppingstone to higher court jobs.

Hastings, an attorney in private practice, soundly defeated Deputy Public Defender Lynn Avants on Tuesday in the race for the Municipal Court Department 6 seat.

“I’m excited to take the bench and get started,” Hastings said as election results rolled in.

Hastings took 59 percent of the vote while Avants received 41 percent.

The election had the lowest turnout in recent memory.

“We knocked on doors at least three days a week,” Hastings said. “We did everything we could to get people out.”

Avants, 37, finished first in April’s crowded primary election while Hastings, 43, came in second.

Hastings will serve out the two years remaining on former Municipal Court Judge Abbi Silver’s term before facing re-election. He has committed to running for re-election.

He said that in the long term, he wants those convicted of graffiti vandalism to serve more community service time cleaning up graffiti.

Both candidates had touted their experience and ran “tough-on crime” campaigns.

Hastings, who was born in Northern Nevada, worked as a defense attorney and prosecutor before starting his private practice.

In the weeks before Tuesday’s election, he had closed his practice to campaign full time.

During the campaign, Hastings emphasized that his family history allowed him to empathize with crime victims. Hastings’ father was killed by a drunken driver. His mother was kidnapped from her house recently. His house was broken into recently and his wife was attacked.

Municipal Court handles misdemeanors and is where those accused of offenses such as domestic violence and drunken driving enter the judicial system.

Some of those defendants go on to felonious crimes, the candidates have said.

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