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Las Vegas mayoral race draws three candidates

Five-way race shaping up for municipal judge post in April 5 primary

Updated Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2011 | 4:05 p.m.

Katherine Duncan

Katherine Duncan

Three candidates filed for office Tuesday morning and one Tuesday afternoon to replace outgoing Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman.

Katherine "Katie" Duncan, who founded the Ward 5 Chamber of Commerce, and Abdul Shabazz, who co-owns a local business, officially entered the mayoral race in the morning, while Marlene Rogoff, a real estate agent filed Tuesday afternoon. The race is expected to attract several more candidate before the Feb. 4 filing deadline. The city primary is April 5.

Shabazz, 56, is a principal in Mobile Denture Lab. His website says he is a "professional dice hustler, turned denture maker."

"I have some experience in business and real estate and that experience is what's needed to turn the economy around," Shabazz said in a telephone interview.

Duncan, 55, has been active in historic preservation in the West Las Vegas neighborhood and serves on the city's Historic Preservation Commission. Among her activities, she has been a leader in restoring Miss Harrison's boarding house, a segregation-era place to sleep for such African-American entertainers as Sammy Davis Jr. and Pearl Bailey.

Duncan ran unsuccessfully in 2007 for the Ward 5 seat. The first to file for the mayor's office Tuesday, Duncan said she decided to run because she has been meeting with business owners and residents about how to improve the city.

"We're in a horrible fiscal crunch in the city and we know how to fix it and how to grow the city's budget so we can avoid all the cuts," she said.

Rogoff ran for the Ward 6 city council seat in 2005. She was also a member of The Tule Springs Preservation Committee and served as its secretary.

On her website, she lists vodka as her favorite drink — a reference to Goodman's well-known favorite drink, a gin martini. Also in reference to Goodman's practice of appearing at events with Las Vegas showgirls, Rogoff has said she would promote equal opportunity "by not only taking Showgirls with her to promote tourism, but also taking some of the dancers from the Chippendales Type Shows as well."

Duncan, Shabazz and Rogoff were among several candidates who came down to file for city offices Tuesday at Las Vegas City Hall.

Coffin files for Ward 3 seat on city council

Besides the mayor's seats, the election will feature three other seats on the city council. While the mayor's post pays $65,247 per year, city council positions carry a $49,665 annual salary.

Others filing Tuesday included former State Sen. Bob Coffin, who is running for the open Ward 3 City Council seat. That seat being is being vacated by Mayor Pro Tem Gary Reese, who is being term-limited out after 12 years of service. Reese has announced he won't run for mayor.

Ward 1 City Councilwoman Lois Tarkanian and Ward 5 Councilman Ricki Barlow also both filed for re-election Tuesday for another four-year term.

Municipal judge post draws five contenders

Eight people have filed for three municipal judge positions up for election. Each of the six-year posts pays $149,356 annually.

A five-way race is developing for the Department 2 spot. Sonny Bonaventure, George Trachtman, Robert Kurth, Susan Roger and Marco Angioni all filed Tuesday for the post.

Incumbent Judge George Assad filed for re-election to Department 3 and is being challeged by Heidi Almase.

Incumbent Judge Cedric Kerns filed for re-election to Department 5 Tuesday, but has no challengers.

The candidate filing period will continue until 5 p.m. Feb. 4.

Of all the races, the mayoral race is the most prominent. Goodman is in the last year of his third four-year term and cannot run again because of term limits.

Among those still expected to file for mayor are Larry Brown, a Clark County Commissioner, and City Councilman Steve Ross, who is expected to file Monday.

Clark County Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani has also expressed interest in the race.

The candidates must personally come down to the city clerk's office to fill out paperwork and pay a $100 filing fee for the mayoral race.

If one of the candidates receives more than a majority of the votes cast in the primary, they are elected to the position and would be sworn in at the April 20 city council meeting.

If no candidate receives a majority in the April 5 primary, then the top two candidates receiving the highest votes are placed on the ballot for the June 7 general city election. The winner would be seated at the July 6 city council meeting.

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