Mayoral hopefuls on binge

If you live in Henderson, you can’t escape them.

Their fliers clog your mailbox. Their smiling faces stare out at you from signs and billboards across the city. For the first time ever, you’re not even safe at home in front of the television.

Welcome to the most expensive campaign for mayor in Henderson history.

According to the latest round of campaign finance reports, which were due Tuesday, the five candidates to replace term-limited Mayor Jim Gibson have combined to spend nearly $550,000, $490,000 of it since Jan. 1.

One explanation for the spending binge is simple competition, something Nevada’s second-most populous city simply has not seen in its municipal elections over the past decade or so.

Then there are the expensive new tactics being employed by some of the candidates, including an unprecedented foray into television by Andy Hafen and Steve Kirk.

Hafen was first to take the plunge, with a $70,000 television buy. Kirk quickly answered with a similar investment in TV spots of his own.

"We’re going to match what Andy does," Kirk said.

Kirk actually leads the pack in total campaign spending. The 10-year member of the City Council has invested more than $255,000 this year and $278,400 overall.

He has out-raised the competition by a wide margin, assembling a war chest of more than $426,000, including $118,200 since Jan. 1.

Hafen reports $126,400 in contributions and $186,100 in expenses this year. He didn’t log any fundraising or money spent in 2008.

The three other candidates — former City Councilwoman Amanda Cyphers, former Henderson Police Chief Michael Mayberry and personal injury attorney Richard Sipan — have combined to raise about $69,000 and spend about $50,000 since Jan. 1.

The election will be held Tuesday. Early voting is under way and lasts through Friday.

One political observer said this campaign could mark the start of a new era for Henderson: the first metropolitan-style election in a city where small-town campaigns once carried the day.

The departing mayor might quibble with that.

Though Gibson never appeared on a general election ballot or drew a serious challenge during his 12 years in office, he didn’t take re-election for granted either.

Gibson faced two unknown candidates in 2005, and he trounced them in the primary, in part by spending more than $200,000 compared with their $5,610 combined.

He was unopposed in 2001 but still raised $125,000 and spent more than $70,000.

Gibson was traveling on Tuesday and could not be reached for comment.

Until this year, Hafen’s only previous television commercial experience was an appearance in spots for his daughter Tessa’s unsuccessful bid for Congress in 2006.

"You can’t stand to see yourself on TV. I think that’s pretty universal," Hafen said of the experience.

But after nearly losing his council seat in the 2007 primary election, Hafen said, he isn’t taking any chances this time around.

"It was a wake-up call for me. I’m working harder than I’ve ever worked before."

That said, the six-term council member noted he is actually spending less money this time than he has in the past, in part because raising funds in this economy has proved difficult. "The contributions have dried up," he said.

The numbers bear that out, at least in part.

At this stage of his last run for City Council in 2007, Hafen had raised about $278,500 but spent $118,300. By this time in 2003, he had raised $218,000 and spent $176,700.

Mayberry, in his first bid for elected office, has raised $35,400 and spent $29,000 so far. Depending on how he does in the primary and how the contributions come in, he said, he expects his campaign to top out at $75,000 to $100,000.

"We’re not Andy Hafen. We’re not Steve Kirk," he said.

Cyphers served on the City Council for 12 years and then worked as a political consultant after she left office in 2007. She said she knows how to run a lean, mean campaign.

Good thing, too, because she has raised less than $33,000 since Jan. 1 and less than $70,000 overall. In her last race as an incumbent councilwoman in 2003, she had almost $210,000 with which to work.

She has spent about $20,000 on her mayoral campaign. "I feel I’m keeping up with the big dogs," she said.

The only candidate not spending money is Sipan, who considers himself the only outsider in the race.

"You won’t even see any campaign signs," he said.

Sipan’s campaign finance report indicates he has spent about $847 of his own money and accepted no contributions since Jan. 1. He cannot believe how much his competitors have shelled out.

"Where is all this money coming from?" he said. "I can at least credibly say I’m not beholden to anyone. I don’t owe anyone a favor."

Contact reporter Henry Brean at hbrean@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0350.

News
Educators dressed in red have taken to the streets to demand more for their students.
Educators dressed in red have taken to the streets to demand more for their students. Educators from around the State are bringing the Red for Ed movement to the steps of the Nevada Legislature in Carson City, NV, and to the Grant Sawyer Building in Las Vegas. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Nature Conservancy Ranch
The Nature Conservancy just bought the 900-acre 7J Ranch at the headwaters of the Amargosa River, north of Beatty. The property could become a research station, though ranching will continue.
Swift water rescue at Durango Wash in Las Vegas
On Thursday, February 14, 2019, at approximately 8:42 a.m., the Clark County Fire Department responded to a report of a swift water incident where people were trapped in the Durango wash which is located near 8771 Halcon Ave. Personnel found one person who was trapped in the flood channel. The individual was transported to the hospital in stable condition. Video by Clark County Fire & Rescue.
Flooding at E Cheyenne in N. Las Vegas Blvd.
Quick Weather Around the Strip
Rain hits Las Vegas, but that doesn't stop people from heading out to the Strip. (Mat Luschek/Review-Journal)
Aaron Semas, professional bull rider, talks about his traumatic brain injuries
Aaron Semas, professional bull rider, talks about his traumatic brain injuries. The Cleveland Clinic will begin researching the brains of retired bull riders to understand the impact traumatic brain injuries have on cognition. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/ Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Matt Stutzman shoots arrows with his feet
Matt Stutzman who was born without arms shoots arrows with his feet and hits the bullseye with remarkable accuracy. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Secretary of Air Force Emphasizes the Importance of Nellis AFB
US Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson visited Nellis Air Force Base during Red Flag training and described how important the base is to the military.
Former Northwest Academy student speaks out
Tanner Reynolds, 13, with his mother Angela McDonald, speaks out on his experience as a former student of Northwest Academy in Amargosa Valley, which includes abuse by staff member Caleb Michael Hill. Hill, 29, was arrested Jan. 29 by the Nye County Sheriff’s Office on suspicion of child abuse.
Former Northwest Academy students speak out
Tristan Groom, 15, and his brother Jade Gaastra, 23, speak out on their experiences as former students of Northwest Academy in Amargosa Valley, which includes abuse by staff and excessive medication.
Disruption At Metro PD OIS Presser
A man claiming to be part of the press refused to leave a press conference at Metro police headquarters, Wednesday January 30, 2019. Officers were forced to physically remove the man. (Mat Luschek/Review-Journal)
Clients at Las Vegas’ Homeless Courtyard talk about their experience
Clients at Las Vegas’ Homeless Courtyard talk about their experience after the city began operating around the clock. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Las Vegas parts ways with operator of homeless courtyard
Jocelyn Bluitt-Fisher discusses the transition between operators of the homeless courtyard in Las Vegas, Thursday Jan. 24, 2019.(Caroline Brehman/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas police and Raiders partner with SafeNest
Las Vegas police and the Raiders partner with SafeNest on Project Safe 417 (the police code for domestic violence is 417). The program partners trained SafeNest volunteer advocates with Metropolitan Police Department officers dispatched to domestic violence calls, allowing advocates to provide immediate crisis advocacy to victims at the scene of those calls. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
North Las Vegas police chief discusses officer-involved shooting
North Las Vegas police chief Pamela Ojeda held a press conference Thursday, Jan. 24, regarding an officer-involved shooting that took place on Jan. 21. The incident resulted in the killing of suspect Horacio Ruiz-Rodriguez. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Volunteers gather for annual Clark County homeless count
Volunteers gather for the annual Southern Nevada Homeless Census, Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2019. (Chase Stevens/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Who can understand hospital price lists?
Lists of costs for procedures, drugs and devices are now posted the websites of hospitals to comply with a new federal rule designed to provide additional consumer transparency. Good luck figuring out what they mean.
People in Mesquite deal with a massive power outage
People in Mesquite respond to a major power outage in the area on Monday, Jan. 21, 2019. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Group helping stranded motorists during power outage
A group of Good Samaritans are offering free gas to people in need at the Glendale AM/PM, during a massive power outage near Mesquite on Monday, Jan. 21, 2019. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
U.S. Sen. Jacky Rosen falls at Las Vegas parade
U.S. Sen. Jacky Rosen of Nevada fell and injured her wrist at the Martin Luther King Day parade in Las Vegas on Monday, Jan. 21, 2019. (Nathan Asselin/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Local astronomers host super blood wolf moon viewing
The Las Vegas Astronomical Society paired with the College of Southern Nevada to host a lunar eclipse viewing Sunday night. Known as the super blood wolf moon, the astronomical event won't occur for another 18 years. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @rookie__rae
Tate Elementary shows academic progress after categorical funding
Students at Tate Elementary in Las Vegas has benefited from a program to boost education funding in targeted student populations, known as categorical funding. One program called Zoom helps students who have fallen below grade level in reading. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
The third annual Women’s March in Las Vegas
The third annual Women’s March in Las Vegas. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @btesfaye
First former felon to work for Nevada Department of Corrections
After his father died, Michael Russell struggled for years with drug addiction. When he finally decided to change for good, he got sober and worked for years to help others. Now he is the first former felon to be hired by the Nevada Department of Corrections. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @rookie__rae
Three Square helps TSA workers
Three Square Food Bank donated over 400 care bags to TSA workers affected by the government shutdown Wednesday, filled with food, personal hygiene products and water.
Las Vegas furniture store donates to Clark County firehouses
Walker Furniture donated new mattresses to all 30 Clark County firehouses in the Las Vegas Valley, starting today with Station 22. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Mount Charleston Gets Heavy Snow, Fog
Mount Charleston saw heavy snow today, and fog in lower elevations as a cold front swept across the Las Vegas Valley. (Benjamin Hager/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Krystal Whipple arrested in Arizona
Krystal Whipple, charged in the killing of a Las Vegas nail salon manager over a $35 manicure, is expected to return to Nevada to face a murder charge.
Holocaust survivor on acceptance
Holocaust survivor Celina Karp Biniaz, who was the youngest person on Schindler’s List, talks about the most important message for people to understand from her life and experiences.
Holocaust survivor speaks about telling her story
Holocaust survivor Celina Karp Biniaz, who was the youngest person on Schindler’s List, tells of opening up about her experiences during Sunday’s event at Temple Sinai.
ad-high_impact_4
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing