Ruben Kihuen, the former federal and Nevada lawmaker, filed paperwork to run for Las Vegas City Council, joining former Assemblywoman Olivia Diaz on Wednesday as two high-profile candidates pitted against each other in a downtown district.
The race for Ward 3 is further crowded by the introductions of Kihuen and Diaz, who both made their candidacies official. U.S. Veterans Affairs project manager Melissa Clary, former Las Vegas parks commissioner David Lopez, special education teacher Aaron Bautista and political newcomer Shawn Mooneyham previously filed paperwork.
The candidate filing period for the April 2 primary election ends Friday.
Kihuen, a former Democratic Congressman, has faced renewed criticism since declaring his intentions to replace outgoing Councilman Bob Coffin on the seven-member council two weeks ago.
He received a reproval from a House Ethics committee last year after it found he violated the congressional code of conduct by making unwanted verbal and physical advances toward two women during his campaign for Congress.
Kihuen has denied the claims, deemed by the committee to be credible, although he also issued an apology, which he told the Review-Journal last week he stood by. He said he was set on earning the trust of voters to tackle “the enormous problems of homelessness, graffiti and crime that impact areas throughout the ward.”
Diaz, who could become the first Latina to serve on the Council, in a statement Wednesday said she is “ready to bring my legislative experience to the local level.”
A teacher at Ruby Thomas Elementary School, she described addressing school route infrastructure, homelessness and graffiti abatement, and boosting first responders’ presence in the district, as priorities.
In Ward 1, Amy Emanuel, who runs a commercial property management company, added her name to the list of candidates Wednesday that has grown to seven to replace term-limited Mayor Pro Tem Lois Tarkanian.
And in Ward 5, former Democratic Nevada gubernatorial candidate Henry Thorns emerged as the lone challenger so far to Councilman Cedric Crear.
On Tuesday, Tina Rane Alexander filed paperwork to run for mayor, bringing to three the number of challengers to incumbent Carolyn Goodman.
Alexander’s website shows she is a divorce coach and involved with Sisters Taking Action Today, a group that ministers to prostitutes and feeds the homeless.
In North Las Vegas, retired firefighter and paramedic Michael Estrada filed paperwork to challenge incumbent Richard Cherchio in the race for Ward 4 on the City Council. Six candidates, including Cherchio, are seeking the seat.
Ernest Caalim filed paperwork to run for the Henderson City Council’s Ward 2 seat. The seat is currently held by Dan Shaw, who is seeking re-election.
Carolyn Goodman (i)
Tina Rane Alexander
Vance “Stretch” Sanders
Jack L. Schofield Jr
Las Vegas City Council
Dean Lauer, Jr.
Jesse “Jake” Holder
Cedric Crear (i)
Dan Shaw (i)
Dan Stewart (i)
Municipal Court Dept 1
Mark Stevens (i)
NORTH LAS VEGAS
Richard Cherchio (i)
Rod Woodbury (i)