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Commission District A primary sees former nonprofit professional, former police officer face off

The Republican primary race for County Commission District A will see a former nonprofit professional face off against a former North Las Vegas police officer.

The winner of the primary will face incumbent Democratic Commissioner Michael Naft in the general election.

Ryan Hamilton, 38, said he’s running for the seat because he believes the quality of life that Las Vegas residents can expect is “rapidly on the decline.”

Hamilton, who is currently self-employed, formerly worked in community relations for Vegas Stronger, a nonprofit focused on homelessness and addiction treatment.

He said congested traffic, homeless individuals “swamping” local social services and the increasing cost of living are among some challenges Southern Nevadans are facing – challenges he says current leadership have failed to resolve.

Hamilton said the county needs to identify ways to ensure it has access to more water and developable land.

As for what sets him apart from his opponent, Hamilton touted endorsements from Lt. Gov. Stavros Anthony, state Controller Andy Matthews, and former Attorney General and failed Senate candidate Adam Laxalt.

It’s Hamilton’s first run for political office, unlike his opponent.

Michael Thomas, who said he didn’t want to respond until after the primary, previously won the Republican primary for District A but ultimately lost in the general election to Naft in 2020.

Thomas challenged former Gov. Steve Sisolak for his seat on the commission in 2016, but lost.

Thomas worked for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department before moving to Las Vegas in 1993. He worked for the North Las Vegas Police Department and later retired from the Clark County School District Police Department.

Thomas was fired from the North Las Vegas Police Department in 1999, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported in 2020. A department memo about Thomas’ conduct showed police determined he had violated rules and regulations on professional conduct, complying with orders and associating with known offenders.

In a statement to the Review-Journal at the time, Thomas said he had served with honor while working for a “corrupt organization” and said he risked his life to expose corruption.

Contact Taylor R. Avery at TAvery@reviewjournal.com. Follow @travery98 on X.

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