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Outgoing Democrat Brager endorses Republican in Clark County race

Updated August 28, 2018 - 6:18 pm

An outgoing Democrat on the Clark County Commission has endorsed a Republican in the race to replace her.

Commissioner Susan Brager, who is term-limited, on Tuesday announced her support for attorney Tisha Black in the contest for county commission District F.

Describing herself as a registered Democrat for more than 50 years, Brager said she appreciates Black’s honesty, integrity and business acumen. She said that she has known Black for “a number of years” and her father, real estate developer and former gaming executive Randy Black Sr., for even longer.

“It’s not a decision I make lightly,” Brager said. “I think we have incredible people running on our ticket, but in this case I think Tisha Black is the best candidate.”

Black, 46, is a founding partner of the Black and LoBello law firm and a political newcomer. She is facing fellow attorney Justin Jones, a 43-year-old Democrat and former state senator, in the Nov. 6 election.

Black could not be reached for comment.

Jones announced his own across-the-aisle endorsement Tuesday from former Clark County Sheriff Bill Young, a Republican.

“(Jones) has always been committed to making our streets and neighborhoods safe for us all, and will continue that work on the County Commission,” Young said in the statement announcing his endorsement.

Red Rock Canyon Contention

Brager said that she disliked that Jones is campaigning on his representation of an environmental nonprofit locked in a court battle initiated by the county. Save Red Rock is trying to block a proposal to build thousands of homes atop Blue Diamond Hill, which borders the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area.

Jones’ campaign website says he has “served as counsel for Save Red Rock in its lengthy fight to prevent sprawl development in Red Rock Canyon.”

Brager, whose district encompasses Blue Diamond Hill, pointed out that the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area is already protected from development and the county commission has not approved any development on Blue Diamond Hill.

“Red Rock is already saved, so why would you have it in your campaign that you’re going to save Red Rock?” Brager said. “I think it’s a hot-button issue for people, and that isn’t how I operate politically.”

Jones said that has fought against development both in and around Red Rock Canyon, and he hopes to continue that fight as a county commissioner.

“I’m running a race that puts people ahead of politics, and I have a proven record of fighting for the people I represent,” he said.

Progressive groups Battle Born Progress and the Nevada Conservation League and fellow Democratic candidates came to Jones’ defense in the wake of Brager’s endorsement.

Executive Director Annette Magnus called the endorsement “a complete insult” to all Nevadans who care about the Red Rock Canyon. Andy Maggi, executive director of the Nevada Conservation League, said supporting Jones was a “no brainer.”

District F lies in the southwest valley and covers land south of Charleston Boulevard and west of Interstate 15. It also includes the communities of Blue Diamond, Primm, Jean, Goodsprings, Mountain Springs and Sandy Valley.

Contact Michael Scott Davidson at sdavidson@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3861. Follow @davidsonlvrj on Twitter.

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