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Robinson re-elected to last council term

Shortly after winning his seventh and final term by a landslide Tuesday night, North Las Vegas City Councilman William Robinson said he may have higher aspirations.

“Hell, I’m going to run for mayor,” the 66-year-old mayor pro tem said after learning he had captured 77 percent of the vote . “You never know.”

Ward 2 challenger John Stephens, a 41-year-old library assistant, got 23 percent of the vote. He could not be reached for comment Tuesday evening.

Robinson, a six-term incumbent who first took office in 1983, must retire when his seventh term expires in 2011 because of term limits adopted by the city in the late 1990s.

But he said his final council victory wasn’t bittersweet because “I’m not going anywhere.”

Robinson is sometimes called the “grandfather” or “grand old man” of the council. Since he took office, the city has quadrupled in population and is the second-fastest-growing large city in the country. At the end of his term, Robinson will have served 28 years in the position.

He focused his 2007 campaign on bringing new businesses to his district and revitalizing older areas of the ward.

On Tuesday night, Robinson said he was eager to get back to work.

“There’s a whole lot of things I got to do in Ward 2,” he said.

Only residents of Ward 2 were eligible to vote in this election. North Las Vegas last year switched from citywide to single-ward voting for council members.

Ward 2 roughly encompasses neighborhoods south of Cheyenne Avenue and north of Lake Mead Boulevard, between Las Vegas Boulevard and Rancho Drive; and neighborhoods north of Cheyenne and south of Washburn Road, between Martin Luther King Boulevard and Allen Lane.

The city’s next mayoral race, decided citywide, will be in 2009.

North Las Vegas City Councilwoman Stephanie Smith, whose seat was not up for grabs this election season and who was celebrating with Robinson at the Lions Club on Van Der Meer Street, said she never doubted that he would be re-elected.

“He has such deep roots in the community,” she said. “It keeps everything stable around here.”

Robinson said he hopes his legacy will be his no-nonsense style.

“I want to be remembered as being firm and fair.”

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