Eyeing continuity in leadership through 2023, Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman confirmed this week perhaps the worst-kept secret in local political circles: She will seek a third and final term in office.
The announcement of her renewed candidacy was spoiled last week when her husband, Oscar Goodman, affirmed that she would seek to match the length of his tenure, which spanned from 1999 to 2011.
“If she wins, we’ll have nearly a quarter of a century of Goodmans as mayors of Las Vegas,” Oscar Goodman told a dinner crowd at Oscar’s Steakhouse on Dec. 5.
But Carolyn Goodman, 79, dismissed any talk of legacy Monday, saying her decision is simply rooted in wrapping up unfinished business and without deliberation or consideration for capping off a six-term run as a Goodman-led council.
“Maybe in Oscar’s mind, but not mine,” she said. “Legacy is not what I’m about. It’s just about making something better than when we inherited it.”
While the mayor might be reluctant to hoist the narrative to the forefront, Tom Letizia, the longtime campaign manager for the Goodmans, said there is no doubt that the possibility of the duo’s 24-year run as City Hall’s most visible policymakers was enticing.
“I think it’s great that we have this legacy,” Letizia said. “I think the experience the Goodmans have had in Las Vegas over these years has evolved into so much good for our community, and I think it’s important that we keep it going.”
Goodman said she would stay focused on public safety and reducing the number of vacant, boarded-up buildings as part of the city’s redevelopment era, while continuing the thread of investing in health care, culture and sports.
“You can’t have a city that’s worth anything,” she said, “if you don’t have a combination of all those things.”
No one has publicly mounted a challenge to her high-profile position, one of four council roles to be decided next year.
Longtime political operative Jim Ferrence, who is handling the campaign for Ward 5 Councilman Cedric Crear, confirmed Monday that Crear, who won a special election in March, will run with the hopes of filling the seat for four more years.
The confirmation leaves no uncertainty anymore to the course for incumbents leading into April’s primary election.
In Ward 3, Councilman Bob Coffin, 76, has decided not to pursue a third and final term, citing lingering back pain from a 1981 car crash. The pending vacancy appeared to galvanize Assemblywoman Olivia Diaz, 40, to resign a month after election to her fourth term in order to run for the council seat.
Melissa Clary, 36, a Department of Veterans Affairs project manager, political newcomer Shawn Mooneyham and former Las Vegas parks commissioner David Lopez have also announced their candidacies to represent Ward 3.
In Ward 1, termed-out Mayor Pro Tem Lois Tarkanian’s assistant Robin Munier, former Las Vegas employee Brian Knudsen and coffee shop owner Sherman Avery Ray have each noted interest in running to replace Tarkanian.
On Monday, a recall effort was launched against Ward 2 Councilman Steve Seroka, who was elected in June 2017, over his perceived anti-development positions in sponsoring the city’s recently passed open-space ordinance and opposing the Badlands golf course build-out.
Former Assemblywoman Victoria Seaman confirmed that she will run against Seroka should organizers collect enough signatures to force a recall election next year.
The candidate filing period is Jan. 22 through Feb. 1. Following the April 2 primary, the general election is June 11.
Goodmans at the helm
Carolyn Goodman, mayor, 2011-?
Oscar Goodman, mayor, 1999-2011
Candidate filing period — Jan. 22 through Feb. 1
Primary election — April 2
General election — June 11