Las Vegas Sun

May 23, 2017

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Brown wins new term on council by default


The primary election is April 3. If no candidate receives 50 percent plus one vote, the top two vote-getters will move on to the June 5 general election.

The only Las Vegas city councilman up for election who actually won a past election won't face any competition this time around.

Larry Brown was re-elected by default Friday after nobody filed to run against the Ward 4 councilman. His three colleagues, all of whom were appointed to their posts, will face at least one formidable challenger this spring.

On Friday, as filing for municipal offices closed, two candidates threw their names in the ring against Lynette Boggs McDonald, one of them former planning commissioner Mark Solomon.

Councilman Lawrence Weekly faces seven opponents, including former councilman and constable Bob Nolen. And four candidates filed against Michael Mack, including community activist Louise Helton.

For Brown, this year's re-election bye is welcome news after his narrow 1997 upset of incumbent Matthew Callister in a bitter campaign.

"I do think that it's a vote of confidence and that we have been and are focusing on the right issues," Brown said Friday evening.

Not having to campaign is a "relief" for the former pro baseball player who prefers "policy over politicking."

"There's a little part of me that wanted to run to get that consensus from the community," said Brown, 43, who works in community relations for the minor league baseball team, the Las Vegas 51s. "But this tells me that our message is clear."

Three Municipal Court judges also posted wins Friday by virtue of having no competition. Judges Cedric Kerns, Michelle Leavitt Fitzpatrick and Jessie Walsh all won four-year terms.

Department 2 Judge Betsy Kolkoski faces opposition from attorney Bill Henderson, who most recently lost a bid for Family Court judge to Lisa Brown.

Boggs McDonald said she has raised more than $300,000 and says she plans to run on the record she has established since being appointed to the unexpired council seat of Arnie Adamson in June 1999.

Solomon, a retired director of the Culinary Union Training Center, spent eight years on the city Planning Commission and served 10 years on the Board of Zoning Adjustment.

Harrison Sanford also filed against Boggs McDonald for the Ward 2 seat Friday.

Weekly, who has hired professional campaign consultants, is taking Nolen's candidacy seriously. Nolen, who is white, said he entered the race at the behest of some black citizens who claimed Weekly, who is black, was not serving them.

Racial politics and the sex trade are sure to become issues in the race for a two-year seat representing Ward 5. Nolen is manager of the Olympic Garden topless club.

Several other well-known blacks have also entered the race, including boxing coach Charles "Doc" Broadus, community activist Anthony Snowden and teacher Harvey Munford. Voters will also see Paul Holder, Charles Schneider and Ruth Irene Spear on the ballot.

Gaming entrepreneur Bob Stupak's son, Nevada Stupak, decided not to enter the crowded field for Weekly's seat.

In Mack's Ward 6 race, only Helton has the type of community respect and name recognition that could give him trouble. She said she believes she can raise enough money to get her message out. Mack has already raised more than $150,000.

James Asche, Rudy Durso and Doug Opolka have also filed for Mack's seat.