Municipal election candidates in Southern Nevada still have hands to shake, stump speeches to make and babies to kiss before the April 7 primary.
But their window of opportunity to convince voters that they’re the best candidate will start narrowing today when early voting kicks off for Henderson and Las Vegas.
Early voting started Wednesday for North Las Vegas voters, and it ends April 3 for all cities in Southern Nevada.
Early voting plays a strong role in elections. For example, in the 2013 municipal elections in Las Vegas, 6,885 voters cast ballots during early voting, 45 percent of all ballots in that city.
It has grown in popularity in Southern Nevada consistently since 2000, said Joe Gloria, Clark County registrar of voters.
Here’s a look at some key races and early voting information in each city:
The most closely watched race by far in Las Vegas, the most populous city in the state, is the citywide election between Mayor Carolyn Goodman and challenger Mayor Pro Tem Stavros Anthony.
The two publicly clashed over whether the city should use tax dollars to help pay for a $200 million downtown soccer stadium project that subsequently failed. Anthony was opposed, and Goodman was its strongest booster.
Goodman also faces challenges from Internet marketer Phil Cory. Abdul H. Shabazz, a frequent candidate in local races, is also running.
The most crowded council race is the one for the seat of Ward 3 Councilman Bob Coffin, another stadium supporter who faces five challengers. Those include former Assembly District 15 candidate Megan Heryet, real estate agent Eric Krattiger, former North Las Vegas court staffer Alicia Garcia-Herrera, Hart Fleischhauer and Carlo Poliak.
Ward 5 Councilman Ricki Barlow, a two-termer, faces a challenge from Randy Voyard, a physical therapy assistant.
Ward 1 Councilwoman Lois Tarkanian is running for a third term against challenger Raymond Fletcher.
There’s also a contested citywide race for Municipal Court judge between Department 1 incumbent Cynthia Leung, who is running for a second term, and challenger Yvette Chevalier.
To access the locations, dates and times for casting an early voting ballot, visit http://www.lasvegasnevada.gov/files/Early_Vote_Schedule-Primary.pdf.
Election information can be obtained from the Las Vegas clerk’s office at 702-229-6311.
Three City Council members are up for re-election in Henderson, the second biggest city in the state.
Ward 1 Councilwoman Gerri Schroder, who is seeking a third term, is facing Eddie Hamilton, a frequent candidate who has run unsuccessfully for governor and other offices, and Edward O’Neil, who runs a transport and storage firm and travel guide publishing company.
Ward 4 Councilman Sam Bateman is facing a challenge from financial adviser Derek Uehara and Tristan Galicia.
Ward 2 Councilwoman Debra March, who has been on the council since 2009, is being challenged by Crystal Hendrickson, a land surveyor intern.
For information about early voting locations and times in Henderson, visit: http://www.cityofhenderson.com/city-clerk/municipal-elections/vote-centers.
The Henderson city clerk’s office can be reached at 702-267-1400.
NORTH LAS VEGAS
Two seats on the North Las Vegas City Council are up for grabs.
Ward 2 incumbent Pamela Goynes-Brown, an assistant principal in the Clark County School District, faces three challengers as she seeks a second term. They are Laura Perkins, a North Las Vegas planning commissioner; Richard “Dick” Moyer, a retired Army sergeant; and Richard Carreon, a retired Army staff sergeant.
In Ward 4, it’s an open race because Councilman Wade Wagner isn’t running for re-election. Richard Cherchio, who previously had the seat and lost it by one vote to Wagner in 2011, is hoping to regain the position. He faces chiropractor Matthew Anderson.
North Las Vegas is the fourth most populous city in Nevada.
For the early voting schedule of North Las Vegas, visit: http://www.cityofnorthlasvegas.com/Departments/CityClerk/PDFs/Elections/2015/Early_Voting_Primary_Schedule_2015.pdf.
The North Las Vegas city clerk’s office can be reached at 702-633-1030.
Candidates who garner one vote more than 50 percent of the primary votes will be declared winners. If no candidate reaches that total, the top two vote-getters face off in the June 2 general election.
All the offices are nonpartisan. All terms are two years except for the Las Vegas court seat, which has a six-year term.
For information about any of the municipal elections, the Clark County Election Department can be reached at 702-455-8683.
Contact Ben Botkin at email@example.com or 702-405-9781. Find him on Twitter: @BenBotkin1.