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August 4, 2015

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Carolyn Goodman easily wins race for Las Vegas mayor

Image

Sam Morris

Las Vegas mayoral candidate Carolyn Goodman celebrates the news that she won with campaign director Tom Letizia, left, and campaign manager Bradley Mayer during an election night party at her campaign headquarters Tuesday, June 7, 2011.

Carolyn Goodman Victory Party

Las Vegas Oscar Goodman points to his wife, mayoral candidate Carolyn Goodman, as early returns show her with a sizable lead during an election night party at her campaign headquarters Tuesday, June 7, 2011. Launch slideshow »

Giunchigliani election night

Mayoral candidate Chris Giunchigliani thanks her volunteers after conceding to Carolyn Goodman at her campaign headquarters in Las Vegas Tuesday, June 7, 2011. Launch slideshow »

Mayor's race

KSNV coverage of the Las Vegas mayoral race, June 6, 2011.

Chisel a new first name on the poker chips, clear out the booze from the mayor’s office and let the transition begin. There’s going to be a new mayor in Las Vegas with a familiar name.

Carolyn Goodman, wife of three-terms-and-you’re-out Mayor Oscar Goodman, easily won election Tuesday, beating Clark County Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani 60 percent to 40 percent.

Goodman volunteers cheered and hugged as the results came in and Goodman's lead became apparent. Goodman held a 30-point lead after early voting results were tallied.

"This isn't about me. It's about our city and what we want," Goodman said.

Giunchigliani's "intentions were good," Goodman added. "She wanted the best for the city, but I believe we wanted more."

Like Goodman’s victory, Las Vegas' municipal elections as a whole brought few surprises.

In Ward 3, eight-term Democratic state legislator Bob Coffin beat former state Democratic Party chief Adriana Martinez, 52 percent to 48 percent. Coffin won the primary by only 49 votes but was widely seen as the front runner going into the general election.

The mayoral and Ward 3 races were the only Las Vegas contests undecided after the primary.

Goodman, benefiting from her husband's coat tails, beat Giunchigliani in the primary by 20 percentage points.

From the start, the contest centered more on personality — that was Goodman’s strength — than policy, where Giunchigliani had the edge. Goodman relied heavily on the popularity of her last name and her charismatic husband.

While Goodman promised repeatedly to maintain her independence, she unapologetically capitalized on her family ties.

"To me, if you have Abe Lincoln and he's so wonderful, why not have one of his sons carry on?" Goodman told a voter Tuesday morning. She had previously said that even her grandchildren were being groomed to continue the Goodman dynasty.

Giunchigliani worked to distinguish herself as the candidate who understood the issues Las Vegas faces. She welcomed all debates and showed a wealth of policy knowledge. But her wonkishness and grassroots efforts couldn't overcome the strength of Goodman's name.

Giunchigliani said she called Goodman late Tuesday to congratulate her. She told supporters they different in political platforms but had overlapping interests, including the desire to develop a business plan for downtown and revitalize older neighborhoods.

"I will still be a county commissioner. No matter what, I’m not going away," she told supporters at her campaign headquarters.

Both candidates' campaigns turned negative in the weeks leading up to Election Day, but one Goodman ad in which she highlighted Giunchigliani cursing at a UMC nurse seemed to gain the most traction. Several voters

cited that spot as the reason they chose Goodman.

The race for Ward 3 was even nastier. Coffin and Martinez, who battled each other to replace term-limited Mayor Pro Tem Gary Reese, resorted to name calling and accusing one another of criminal behavior.

Martinez called Coffin a stalker and claimed he supported pedophiles. Coffin accused Martinez of lying and living outside the district.

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