The state’s economic woes and Clark County’s struggling schools are shaping the race for Assembly District 23 between a social worker and teacher.

Republican incumbent Melissa Woodbury, the eldest daughter of longtime County Commissioner Bruce Woodbury, is seeking a second two-year term against Democratic challenger Monica Leija Bean.

Bean, who has worked for Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada for the past seven years, said she wants to boost the state’s economy by attracting businesses to create jobs.

Improving the county’s school district would offer an incentive for families looking to move to Nevada for employment, added Bean, who has been a social worker for almost 20 years.

“I work for the largest social services agency in Southern Nevada, and I see firsthand how the economy has hit our community,” Bean said. “I’ve seen the aftermath of so many men and women out of work. I’d like to look very closely at what the concerns are and make the greatest impact. I’m concerned about what’s happening in our state.”

Woodbury did not return calls or e-mails for comment.

But on her official campaign website, Woodbury calls herself a “commonsense conservative” and wrote that she wants to improve the economy by creating jobs, hiring more teachers, and investing in clean and renewable technologies.

“Having taught in schools and classrooms of varying sizes and seen Nevada’s education system up-close I bring a unique perspective to the education challenges we face,” she wrote on her Review-Journal candidate form.

Woodbury and Bean were the only two candidates who filed, so there was no primary in Assembly District 23, which is located between U.S. Highway 95 and Appaloosa Road in Henderson.

Contact Kristi Jourdan at or 702-383-0279.

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