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July 28, 2014

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NLV mayor defeated soundly in election otherwise dominated by incumbents

Updated Tuesday, April 2, 2013 | 11:40 p.m.

Click to enlarge photo

North Las Vegas Mayor John Lee

Click to enlarge photo

North Las Vegas Mayor Shari Buck at City Hall on Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2011.

The results are in and little has changed following Tuesday’s municipal primary elections — except for one city.

North Las Vegas has a new mayor.

Former state Sen. John Lee earned 53.6 percent of the vote to defeat incumbent Mayor Shari Buck outright, and bypass the general election. Buck received 35.5 percent of the vote. Any candidate who receives more than 50 percent of the vote bypasses the general election and wins the seat.

A request for comment from Lee was not immediately returned. Buck, who has been mayor for four years and city councilwoman for nine years, wished Lee well as he steps in to fill her role.

“I’m happy about the progress the city has made in the last couple of years,” Buck said. “I know we have a bright future ahead, and I wish Mr. Lee well as he steps into office.”

Still, she isn’t sure what her next step will be after her term ends on July 1. Despite the defeat she said she wouldn’t stop helping the city any way she can as a resident.

“I, still, as a citizen will speak proudly of North Las Vegas, and do all I can to talk to businesses and still move here and all those things,” Buck said. “I don’t have any regrets.”

There were few surprises in the valley’s other primary races. Henderson re-elected Mayor Andy Hafen with nearly 55 percent of the vote, defeating six other candidates. Henderson Councilman John Marz also retained his seat in the 3rd Ward.

In Las Vegas, incumbents Bob Beers, Stavros Anthony and Steve Ross won their respective city council races outright. Ross’ camp, however, was not without drama. The councilman was hospitalized during the middle of the election.

Matt Lydon, Ross’ campaign manager, said that he was taken to the hospital at the urging of his wife. While Ross is feeling better, he was held overnight as a precaution. He is expected to return to his duties after a couple of days off, Lydon said.

North Las Vegas Councilwoman Anita Wood retained her seat in the 3rd Ward, while Isaac Barron and Jared Hardy will challenge each other in the general election.

Once again poor voter turnout marred the municipal primary election. Slightly more than 11 percent of registered voters cast a ballot for the primary races across Clark County. Only 12.4 percent of registered voters turned out in Henderson, and 10.4 percent in North Las Vegas.

The overall turnout marked a 7 percent decrease from the 2011 municipal primary.

Still, Lee was able to receive the majority of votes from the few voters who turned out. Lee ran on a platform that promised to give the city’s image a complete makeover and promised to bring in new business.

Starting July 1, he must put those words into action. He takes on the challenge of revitalizing a city ravished by foreclosures, and one year removed from a state of emergency to close a budget gap exceeding $30 million.

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  1. Re azsk8fan: So 11% of the electorate decides who runs an entire city. Bottom line: if people don't care enough to cast a vote, then they have disenfranchised themselves and have no right to bitch when things don't go their way.

    Your point is valid regarding voter apathy. People end up with the government they deserve by burying their collective heads in the sand while still hoping things will somehow get better. Not likely.

  2. It's good to see an incumbent go down in flames, whatever the party. It should happen more often. The tendency for "ins" to get reelected is not a good thing, overall. It tends to make politicians even more arrogant than usual. While we have our share of indifferent and arrogant politicos, no one today I can think of more fits the bill than the screwball Michael Bloomberg, NYC Mayor. He's nuttier than a fruitcake and regularly oversteps his authority. I guess he is just a symbol of our times: the nanny-state on steroids!

  3. Just because people didn't get out to vote doesn't mean they don't have the right to bitch. No law against that... yet.

    I do enjoy the sight of an incumbent going out the door. It would be good to see more of that in national elections.

  4. I am excited to see John Lee in the Mayor's role in North Las Vegas. He is a first class person with a vison for the City, and is very inclusive in his approach to things. His leadership will be a plus for all of us who live in the City.

  5. NLV has an interesting road ahead, let's hope it gets less bumpy. I want to be on the side that cheers for positive change. Elections happen, and positions change. Let's hope the new mayor has success.

  6. Too bad the idiot Obama voters didn't stay home the way these people did. They get the government they deserve whether they vote or do not vote.

  7. So "Obama voters" are idiots because they gave their candidate a victory?

    If they are idiots for winning I wonder what does that make the LOSERS who can't get it through their thick skulls that their bigoted insolent and downright inferior ideology has failed - and their policies have been rejected by this representative democracy!

    If you don't like it here LEAVE!

  8. It's too bad Henderson voters didn't follow suit. But the blind sheep voters in Henderson just do as they're told, and we all know who they are.

  9. I hadn't made up my mind yet but it seems foolish to forego a general election when the primary turnout is so low. I was not available to vote in the primary but was looking forward to voting in the general election after my decision.

    If I had to judge based on todays news reports I'd say the mayor elect is now a career politician who is tied to public employee unions in some fashion and the mayor ousted is one who did what she thought was right despite the unpopularity of that decision with those same unions.

    I'm not so sure we elected the right one.