81°F
weather icon Clear

Las Vegas mayor cruises to 3rd term; other candidates in runoffs

Updated April 3, 2019 - 12:03 am

Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman cruised to an easy victory Tuesday, while a former congressman accused of sexual harassment was edged out of a race for Las Vegas’ Ward 3.

In North Las Vegas, Mayor John Lee’s attempt to oust a member of his City Council failed.

And a former Henderson city official won an open seat on the City Council, while two incumbents cruised to easy victories.

Meanwhile, total voter turnout for the primary was the second-worst in the last 20 years, with just 8.8 percent of all eligible voters casting ballots in early voting, by mail and on Election Day.

In Las Vegas Ward 3, former Assemblywoman Olivia Diaz and Veterans Affairs program manager Melissa Clary are headed to a runoff, with 33 percent and 28 percent of the vote, respectively. Former Congressman Ruben Kihuen, who didn’t seek re-election after being accused of sexual harassment by three women, barely missed the runoff, running just five votes behind Clary.

In North Las Vegas, a candidate backed by Lee, George Warner, came in third with 15 percent of the vote, as incumbent Councilman Richard Cherchio, with 46 percent, and Pete Shields, with 21 percent, were headed to a runoff.

And in Henderson, Michelle Romero won outright in Ward 1 with 60 percent of the vote, while two incumbents, Dan Stewart and Dan Shaw, won their races overwhelmingly.

The final voter turnout of 8.8 percent was more than the low-turnout record of 7.65 percent set in 2005’s municipal primary. The high-water mark in local election primary voting came in 2003, when 18.34 percent of eligible voters cast ballots.

Depending on the city, a number of factors can affect turnout. If there is no citywide candidate — such as a mayor or a judge — elections could be confined to individual wards. In cities such as Las Vegas, only residents of a ward may vote for a council member. In Henderson, by contrast, all council members run at large, which means everybody in the city can vote in all council races.

A local ballot initiative also may drive up turnout; Boulder City has had a number of those over the years, and all city residents are eligible to vote in those contests.

And residents of unincorporated Clark County can’t vote in city elections because they live outside municipal boundaries. That leaves a sizable chunk of the population off the list of potential voters before the elections even start.

But the fact remains, municipal elections in the off-years will never attract the attention that even-year contests do, with high profile candidates such as president, senator or governor at the top of the ticket.

The low turnout has reignited the biennial debate over whether municipal elections should be switched to coincide with even-year elections.

Currently, only Boulder City, Henderson, Las Vegas, North Las Vegas, Caliente and Yerington hold odd-year elections.

Assembly Bill 50 — introduced by the Legislative Operations and Elections Committee on behalf of the secretary of state’s office — would move those elections to the even-year cycle, starting in 2022. Council members elected in 2017 and 2019 would get to serve an extra year under the bill.

According to figures submitted to the Legislature by Clark County in support of AB 50, Mesquite’s general-election voter turnout jumped from 31 percent in 2013 — the final year the city held an odd-year election — to 83 percent in 2016, the first year the city’s election was coordinated with major races.

AB 50 had a hearing Feb. 28, but must be voted out of the committee by an April 12 deadline or it will be considered dead for the 2019 session.

Cost is also a factor. The 2017 municipal primary elections cost the participating cities at total of $750,000, according to Clark County spokesman Dan Kulin. He said exact figures for the 2019 election weren’t available on Tuesday but that the cost would be comparable to the elections two years ago.

If that number holds, it works out to $15.22 for each of the 49,270 votes cast in the municipal primary.

Those who argue against switching city elections to even years say candidates would get lost on long ballots that can include presidential candidates, Congress, statewide office, state Senate, state Assembly, county commission, school board, ballot initiatives, special districts and judicial candidates.

Moreover, candidates for city offices fear they would have a hard time getting through to voters when TV ad time is swamped by major candidates and outside groups, and potential political donors are being hit up for money by all the other candidates on the ballot.

Contact Steve Sebelius at SSebelius@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0253. Follow @SteveSebelius on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Politics Videos
Clark County 2019 Election Results - Video
The 2019 Elections wrap up in Clark County including an upset in the Boulder City Mayor race.
Olivia Diaz talks about her win in Ward 3 - VIDEO
Las Vegas City Councilwoman-elect Olivia Diaz talks about her election win in Ward 3 and what lies ahead for her.
Greene discusses Read by 3 and Opportunity Scholarships - VIDEO
The Nevada Legislative Session is over and the results are mixed for Nevada students, according to Tom Greene, Senior regional legislative director, Excel in Ed in Action.
Bernie Sanders visits Las Vegas
Sen. Bernie Sanders made a stop at Roy W. Martin middle school on Thursday, during his campaign trail.
Kamala Harris campaigns in Las Vegas
Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris castigated President Donald Trump’s merit-based immigration plan, saying it was “short-sighted” and overlooked the cultural significance of family, during a campaign stop in Las Vegas. “We cannot allow people to start parsing and pointing fingers and creating hierarchies among immigrants,” Harris told Asian Pacific Islander leaders at a Chinatown restaurant, one of two appearances she made Thursday.
The Right Take New Education Funding Plan - VIDEO
On Monday, Senate Education Committee chair Mo Denis, D-Las Vegas, released a new education funding formula. For years, many Democrat politicians have criticized the current education funding formula, called the Nevada Plan. They claim it’s old and outdated. Their biggest beef is that it doesn’t allocate more money for students who are English Language Learners or live in poverty. The theory is that it’s harder to educate those students and so they need additional services, which costs additional money.
Kamala Harris campaigns in Nevada
California Senator Kamala Harris meets with One APIA Nevada, a nonprofit organization that advocates for policies empowering Asian Pacific Islander Nevadans. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Ben Carson talks housing (Audio only)
Ben Carson discusses housing with the Review-Journal editorial board on Thursday. (Audio only)
Ben Carson visits the RJ (Full Audio Only)
Ben Carson discusses housing with the Review-Journal editorial board on Thursday. (Audio only)
Former Vice President Joe Biden campaigns in Nevada
After campaigning at the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District Council 16 in Henderson, former Vice President Joe Biden spoke with the Review-Journal.
Student serenades Mayor Carolyn Goodman at swearing in
Students from the school she founded, The Meadows School, serenaded Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman during a swearing in ceremony for her third and final term. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Al Gore Speaks At UNLV About Climate Change - Video
Former Vice President of the United States Al Gore talks to an audience at UNLV about the effects of Climate change and how to switch to renewable sources of energy.
Forum on Wages and Working People Highlights - VIDEO
Presidential candidates Elizabeth Warren, Beto O'Rourke, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Julian Castro, and John Hickenlooper speak in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Nevada Politics Today Valerie Weber - VIDEO
Valerie Weber sits down with Victor Joecks to discuss her policies and why she is running for Ward 2 of the Las Vegas City Council.
Cory Booker speaks at UNLV
US Senator Cory Booker speaks at UNLV during a Young Democrats meet and greet on Thursday, April 18, 2019. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
May-Brown describes why some with disabilities need the subminimum wage - VIDEO
Eliminating the subminimum wage will end training and work opportunities for some members of the disabled community. Instead of doing something productive, they would be relegated to adult day care. That’s according to Tracy May-Brown, Opportunity Village’s director of advocacy, board and government relations.
Commission’s decision will delay Red Rock Canyon development
The Clark County Commission Wednesday rejected a developer’s request to approve a preliminary plan for 3,000 homes overlooking Red Rock Canyon before a federal agency grants permission for a roadway leading to the site.
Clark County commissioner calls on landlords to bring properties up to code
Clark County Commissioner Tick Segerblom has called on landlords in older parts of the valley to bring their properties up to code and keep them well-maintained or face the prospect of inspections, fines and citations. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Harry Reid speaks out against anti-Semitism
Unnerved by the rise in anti-Semitic hate speech and the general pervasiveness of bigotry, including in Nevada, former U.S. Sen. Harry Reid organized an educational forum at UNLV on Thursday as part of his call to unite people against it. (Shea Johnson/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
President Trump speaks to the Republican Jewish Coalition in Las Vegas
President Donald Trump spoke at the Republican Jewish Coalition’s National Leadership Meeting in Las Vegas and updated on Israeli relations. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Trump says border wall will have 'hundreds of miles' built by end of next year
President Donald Trump spoke at the Republican Jewish Coalition’s National Leadership Meeting in Las Vegas and discussed the progress of the border wall and the current relations there. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Protesters disrupt Trump's speech
Just as President Donald Trump started to make his opening remarks during his appearance at the Republican Jewish Coalition’s National Leadership Meeting, protesters disrupted his speech. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Roerink On The Problems With Taking Water From Eastern Nevada - Video
The Southern Nevada Water Authority wants to take billions of gallons of water that doesn’t exist from Eastern Nevada via a pipeline that would cost ratepayers $15 billion. Doing so would devastate the wildlife and people who live there. That’s according to Kyle Roerink, executive director of the Great Basin Water Network, which opposes the pipeline.
Las Vegas Election Night Wrap-Up
The Review-Journal's Politics and Government Editor, Steve Sebelius, wraps up election night. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Olivia Diaz Speaks To Ward 3 Supporters After Primary Election - Video
Olivia Diaz speaks to her supporters at a election party after results started coming in for the Ward 3 primaries.
Oscar Goodman Speaks On Behalf Of Mayor At Primary Win (edited)
Oscar Goodman spoke Tuesday night on behalf of his wife, Carolyn, who won the mayoral primary election. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Oscar Goodman Speaks On Behalf Of Mayor At Primary Win (Full)
Oscar Goodman spoke Tuesday night on behalf of his wife Carolyn, who won the mayoral primary election. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Gun Debate Shows Limits Of Government - Video
On Monday, the Assembly and Senate Judiciary Committees held a joint hearing on Assembly Bill 291. It would ban bump stocks and allow local governments to pass additional restrictions on firearms.
Lucy Flores speaks out about Biden incident
Former Nevada assemblywoman, Lucy Flores, expresses her feelings about an incident with former Vice President Joe Biden in 2014. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @Vegas88s
Harry Reid takes the stand in injury lawsuit
Former U.S. Sen. Harry Reid took the stand on Thursday in the product liability lawsuit brought against the makers of a resistance exercise band that Reid blames for blinding him in one eye.
Jurors hear opening statements in Reid personal injury trial
Opening statements were made on Tuesday in the product liability lawsuit brought by Harry Reid against against the makers of a resistance exercise band that Reid blames for blinding him in one eye.
Mayor Goodman delivers Meals on Wheels
Mayor Carolyn Goodman delivers Meals on Wheels to seniors on March 26, 2019.
Las Vegas City Council Ward 1 race
Candidates for Las Vegas City Council Ward 1. (Shea Johnson/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Beto O’Rourke campaigns in Las Vegas
Democratic presidential candidate and former Texas congressman Beto O'Rourke addresses attendees during a campaign stop at Arandas Taqueria in Las Vegas on Sunday, March 24, 2019. (Chase Stevens/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Beto O'Rourke House Party in Las Vegas
Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke delivered a message of unity inside a Las Vegas living room Saturday night, outlining a mission to bridge the divide in a polarized America and rally behind “big defining ambitions that we have in common.” (Shea Johnson/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Presidential candidate Kirsten Gillibrand talks at Atomic Liquors
Democrat presidential candidate Kirsten Gillibrand talks to her supporters at Atomic Liquors.
Presidential candidate Gillibrand meets with UNLV Immigration Clinic student attorneys
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., meets with UNLV Immigration Clinic student attorneys at her first stop in Nevada as a candidate Thursday, March 21, 2019. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto promotes the Rebuild America’s Schools Act
U.S. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., co-sponsor of the Rebuild America’s Schools Act, speaks at Hoggard Elementary School in Las Vegas to promote the bill that would provide $100 billion for infrastructure improvements at schools across the country. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Scholar Max Eden on how restorative justice decreases student achievement - VIDEO
Across the country, restorative justice is lowering test scores and increasing the number of students who feel unsafe at schools. That’s according to Max Eden, a senior fellow with the Manhattan Institute, who recently released a study discipline reform.
THE LATEST
Manafort to remain in federal custody, won’t go to Rikers

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort has been transferred to a correctional facility in New York but will remain in federal custody while he faces state fraud charges, a Justice Department official said Tuesday.

Trump threatens to deport millions beginning next week

President Donald Trump is threatening to remove millions of people living in the country illegally on the eve of formally announcing his re-election bid.

Watchdog to investigate Interior moves on Utah monument

President Trump slashed the monument by nearly half in 2017 following a contentious review by former Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke of monuments around the country.

50 years after Stonewall, LGBT rights a work in progress

The June 1969 uprising by young gays, lesbians and transgender people in New York City, clashing with police near the Stonewall Inn, was a vital catalyst in expanding LGBT activism nationwide and abroad.

Chinese President Xi to visit N. Korea, may discuss nuke talks

Chinese President Xi Jinping will make a state visit to North Korea this week, state media announced Monday, as U.S. talks with North Korea on its nuclear program are at an apparent standstill.