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Badlands case inspires businesswoman’s run for Las Vegas mayor

The city of Las Vegas’ legal losses to the would-be developer of the defunct Badlands golf course inspired a businesswoman to declare her candidacy for mayor.

“It’s very, very upsetting,” Deb Peck told the Review-Journal. She said the tax dollars that courts have ordered the city to pay developer Yohan Lowie “can go to so many other things.”

Peck — an insurance company agent who is running for office for the first time — said the city should’ve settled the lawsuits last year when a proposed $64 million deal collapsed.

The growing list of candidates to replace Mayor Carolyn Goodman, whose third and final term ends in 2024, includes two fellow City Council members, a former congresswoman and the leader of the Nevada Equal Rights Commission.

But Peck, a self-described political conservative whose Las Vegas roots date back to the late 1930s, said she doesn’t see it as an uphill battle because she thinks the constituency is tired of putting seasoned politicians in power.

She foresees a cash-strapped, but grassroots-heavy campaign for the nonpartisan seat.

“It’s my home,” she said. “I want to keep it safe and I want to keep it clean.”

And while the Badlands case, which loses could reach $100 million or more, was her catalyst to run, her top priorities as mayor would also include public safety, affordable housing and help for those experiencing homelessness and seniors. She said she would push for fiscal responsibility and a healthy economy for small businesses.

Under her leadership, funds for affordable housing would not all go to developers, a policy she said has lead to broken promises and rising costs.

“We have to have a way to make sure that the money is accounted for in a very carful manner, and not just give it to a developer,” she said.

Peck said she is “very pro-police” and that she fully backs Gov. Joe Lombardo and the Metropolitan Police Department he used to lead, and which is partly funded by the city.

The Ward 2 resident said she would advocate to strengthen the police force so that there’s more community outreach, and Las Vegas doesn’t turn into a petty theft haven, like California, she said.

Peck, 68, a State Farm agent, has been in business for about three decades. She is a mother of two, and the daughter of a railroad worker and a Mexican-born mother, who was a homemaker and is turning 104 this year.

She is also a UNLV graduate.

Thus far, former U.S. Rep. Shelley Berkley, Councilman Cedric Crear, Councilwoman Victoria Seaman, and Kara Jenkins with the state’s equal rights commission have previously declared their candidacies.

Peck said that as mayor she would be “a thorn in the side of some,” and that she’s “willing to take on the task.”

Contact Ricardo Torres-Cortez at rtorres@reviewjournal.com. Follow @rickytwrites on Twitter.

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