Rep. Shelley Berkley unveiled an endorsement today from Oscar Goodman, the popular ex-mayor of Las Vegas who vouches for her in a television ad timed for the closing weeks of her U.S. Senate race.
Goodman’s backing for Berkley’s candidacy against Republican Sen. Dean Heller comes as little surprise as the two have been long-time friends and political allies. In Congress, Berkley has represented the City of Las Vegas that Goodman led as mayor from 1999 to 2011.
But coming in the final two weeks of the campaign, and as Las Vegans are already early-voting, the testimonial becomes part of Berkley’s closing pitch to Clark County voters.
In the 30-second ad that will air in Las Vegas, Goodman said he counted Berkley among his go-to sources in Washington.
"Folks here know I call ’em as I see ’em," said Goodman, a former Democrat who is now an independent. "This is a woman who knows how to relate to the people.
"All I had to do is lift up the phone, she was always available, fighting for our citizens. It’s going to take somebody of Shelley Berkley’s character and tenacity to go back to Washington to fight for us. She will work as hard in the United States Senate if not harder if that’s possible than she has in the House. She is going to take care of the problems of the people."
Berkley said she was thankful for Goodman’s support.
"He understands that the only way we can move Nevada forward is to roll up our sleeves, put partisanship aside and get people back to work," she said in a statement.
Goodman served three terms as mayor before being term-limited out of office. Las Vegas voters elected his wife, Carolyn, to succeed him.
Goodman’s popularity stemmed in part from his seemingly ceaseless promotion of his city. Known for traveling with a showgirl entourage and for signing an $100,000 endorsement deal for Bombay Sapphire gin (he donated the money to charity), nobody ever accused Goodman of lacking in Las Vegas color.
Or Berkley for that matter. Among their work together, the two of them in 2010 helped Ricardo’s Mexican Restaurant in Las Vegas celebrate 30 years in business by taking part in a Guinness World Record to mix the "World’s Largest Margarita." A share of the margarita sales went to breast cancer charity.