The choices Las Vegas voters will have at the ballot box this year just keep on growing.
In addition to the horde of candidates running for mayor, a crowd of challengers has been drawn to the Ward 3 City Council race. Former state Democratic Party Chairwoman Adriana Martinez filed to run for the seat Thursday.
She’s the seventh candidate in the race so far. Filing for city elections concludes at 5 p.m. today .
Martinez said her City Council aspirations started in high school, when she served on the student council and on the city of Las Vegas’ Youth Council.
“We were in the council chambers. I remember being in that room and thinking, ‘Wow, it would be terrific being able to serve in this capacity.’ I felt it was an impossibility back then, in high school.”
She stayed active in her neighborhood, joining and fundraising for the PTA before mounting a long-shot state Senate bid in 2002. She lost that race but was tapped to be state chairwoman of the Democratic Party from 2003 to 2006.
Since 2007, Martinez has worked as a council liaison for Councilwoman Lois Tarkanian and is taking an unpaid leave of absence to run for office.
“It’s a big gamble,” she said. “To me, it’s that important.”
Clark County Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani, meanwhile, filed paperwork to run for Las Vegas mayor, a campaign she announced Wednesday.
Fifteen candidates had registered for that race as of 5 p.m. Thursday. They’re running to succeed Oscar Goodman, who is completing his third term and cannot run again because of term limits.
She is one of the higher-profile names in the race, but her announcement Wednesday was partially eclipsed when Carolyn Goodman, the mayor’s wife, filed in the afternoon.
“I think we’ve got many different ideas that are out there,” Giunchigliani said. “It should be welcome because it means you’re going to have that much more dialogue. We can all build on what the current mayor and City Council have done, but my goal is to move us further than that. This is an open seat. None of us, I believe, are running against each other. We’re running for something. I’m running for the job of mayor.”
Anthony “Little Guy” Wernicke, a former state Senate candidate, and Christine Montez also joined the mayor’s race Thursday.
In other filings, Doug Ward joined the Ward 1 City Council race, where he and Margarita Rebollal will compete with Tarkanian, the incumbent.
George Assad has two more challengers in the Municipal Judge Department 3 race, bringing the total to three. Anthony Goldstein and R. Travis Jameson added their names to the contest Thursday. Assad’s son, Anthony Michael Carleo, was arrested Wednesday in the Bellagio casino heist in December.
Bruce L. Gale joined the Municipal Judge Department 5 race, where he and another challenger face incumbent Cedric Kerns. And Colby Beck and Sonny Bonaventure signed up for the Municipal Judge Department 2 contest. There are now seven candidates in that race.
North Las Vegas drew four new candidates on Thursday.
Two candidates filed for the Ward 4 seat of Councilman Richard Cherchio, who is campaigning to keep it. Richard L. Moyer, a transit supervisor and U.S. Army veteran, filed along with Goldie Pitchford, a library assistant. Wade Wagner, a dentist, filed his candidacy in January.
Two candidates also filed for the Ward 2 council seat, being vacated by term-limited Councilman William Robinson. Tanya Flanagan, a web content administrator for Clark County and a former Review-Journal reporter, and Linda Meisenheimer, a property manager, will run for the seat. The three candidates who had filed for Ward 2 were Robinson’s son, William Robinson II, a bank customer service and sales specialist; John Stephens III, a library reference assistant; and Anthony D. Snowden, a program director and community activist.
The primary election will be April 5. In races where no candidate achieves a majority, the top two finishers will compete in the general election June 7.
Review-Journal writer Lynnette Curtis contributed to this report. Contact reporter Alan Choate at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-229-6435.