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Nevada Wonk

Carolyn Goodman says she, not Oscar, would call shots if elected mayor


Steve Marcus

Carolyn Goodman, wife of Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman, waits for her husband to deliver the annual State of the City address at the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in downtown Las Vegas on Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2011.

Mayoral race

KSNV coverage of candidate filings for Las Vegas mayoral race, Feb. 2, 2011.

Oscar Goodman

Oscar Goodman

Carolyn Goodman on Thursday downplayed accusations that her candidacy for Las Vegas mayor is a way for her husband, Mayor Oscar Goodman, to skirt term limits and insisted that if she wins the election, she — not Oscar — will lead the city.

“I am very much my own person,” Goodman said Thursday night on “Face to Face With Jon Ralston.”

“I don’t listen to him. He doesn’t listen to me,” she said. “We’re very much individuals.”

But later in the interview, Goodman stressed that she would follow through with “everything that’s been created by the visionary that is my husband.” She waffled on whether establishing a red light district downtown is a good idea, as her husband proposed, and defended his unbridled push to grow and urbanize Las Vegas.

Goodman, a retired school administrator, entered the crowded race for mayor Wednesday to the surprise of many. She previously said she wouldn’t run.

She now faces many friends in the primary, including Clark County Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani, Las Vegas Councilman Steve Ross and Clark County Commissioner Larry Brown.

Ralston reported earlier this week that Oscar Goodman had told Ross that Goodman’s wife was entering the race because she didn’t want Giunchigliani to win. Carolyn Goodman denied it.

“You are talking about friends of mine,” she said. “Don’t even go there.”

“Friends don’t run against friends, Mrs. Goodman,” Ralston replied.

“These are people I’ve always respected,” she said, adding that she has voted for Giunchigliani in the past.

Carolyn Goodman said her motivation to run grew as the deadline approached, despite her husband’s urging against it.

The deadline to file is Friday. She admitted she didn’t wait until the last minute because she would receive more media attention during the week. Saturday newspapers are typically thin and attract a smaller readership, she said.

As for pulling Las Vegas out of its economic morass, Carolyn Goodman appeared in favor of continuing her husband’s approach of incentivizing development.

“The purpose of government — besides repairing roads, having a fire department, putting money into Metro, having music and parades — to me is about encouraging private enterprise,” she said. “We’re just the support factor.”

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