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Steve Ross, Larry Brown file in Las Vegas mayoral race

Seven candidates in race so far to replace Mayor Oscar Goodman

Updated Monday, Jan. 31, 2011 | 11:50 a.m.

Click to enlarge photo

Larry Brown

Click to enlarge photo

Steve Ross

The race to replace outgoing Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman got a little more crowded this morning.

Clark County Commissioner Larry Brown and Las Vegas City Councilman Steve Ross both formally filed this morning for the mayor's post, which now has seven candidates in the April 5 city municipal election.

Others who filed last week are Katie Duncan, Marlene Rogoff, Abdul H. Shabazz, Tim Gamble and Larry M. Jeppeson.

The filing period for the office closes Friday. County Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani has also indicated she would join the race.

Brown, 53, was the second to file this morning for the office being vacated by Goodman, who is being term-limited out after nearly 12 years.

Brown brought his family and some close friends down to the city clerk's office to fill out paperwork and also took some campaign photos later in the courtyard area of City Hall.

Brown represented Ward 6 on the Las Vegas City Council from 1997 to 2008 before running successfully in 2008 for the county commission, where he chairs the Regional Transportation Commission and the Regional Flood Control District.

He also works as the community relations manager for the Las Vegas 51s Minor League Baseball franchise.

"It's a wonderful opportunity to continue my public service," Brown said. "I feel my background, my experience are a perfect fit for the challenges the mayor and the city are facing right now."

Brown said his main priority as mayor would be the city budget, focusing in on the city's core services that local citizens want and expect, such as public safety, public infrastructure and the ability to create jobs.

"The priority now is facing the challenges, getting through the recession, being part of the recovery, changing the face of city government," he said. "We have to do things differently and focus on those core services that people expect. And everything else that was thrown in over the decades that has become part of the bureaucracy, we have to shrink that down. We have to put the service back in public service."

As mayor, he said would try to develop more partnerships with the private sector.

Brown said he has heard anywhere from a half dozen to 10 different proposals for a sports arena.

"So I certainly will continue to listen," he said. "It's not the priority, though. It's not the priority right now. But it never hurts to listen."

Ross filed about an hour earlier than Brown, bringing an entourage of 13 family members, including six grandchildren, to the city clerk's office.

"I'm not a showgirls and martinis kind of guy," Ross said, laughing and comparing himself to outgoing Mayor Oscar Goodman, known for showcasing the entertainment side of Las Vegas.

"As you can tell, when I filed, I have my family with me. All of my children and my grandchildren. They were the motivator that got me to run for public office to begin with," Ross said.

"I care about this city. I've grown up here. I've raised my children here. They, in turn, are raising their own families here. We need to really stay focused on pulling ourselves out of this economic mess."

Ross said the city needs to partner with all the industries in Southern Nevada to help improve the economy.

"I don't believe government has all the answers and I want to include all the thinkers, all the brilliant minds to help with this economic nightmare," he said.

Ross, 48, a local labor union leader, is in his second four-year term on the council, representing Ward 6.

He is executive director of District Council 15 Labor Management Cooperative Committee, which represents the Painting and Decorating Contractors of America, the Southern Nevada Glazing Contractors and the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District Council 15.

"The work of the current mayor and city council is too important to me to not run for this office," Ross said. "I have made a commitment to Mayor Goodman that I will not only continue his efforts, but redouble them when it comes to downtown redevelopment.

Ross said he wanted redevelopment and economic development to grow to the rest of the city, including West Las Vegas, east Las Vegas, Centennial Hills, Charleston Heights and the Summerlin area.

"Because of this economy, we have really got to stay focused on helping our businesses grow, because when businesses grow, they hire employees," he said. "We need jobs. We need our businesses to be successful. We need our businesses to grow."

In terms of a new sports arena for the city, "the first one who gets a backhoe in the ground is going to build an arena," Ross said, laughing. "Whether it's Cordish Companies, whether it's the Silver State Arena or this new arena proposed at UNLV, I think Southern Nevada needs one."

He said he would like it to be within the city boundaries of Las Vegas.

"But as the prospective mayor of this city, there are no boundaries for me. Southern Nevada is Southern Nevada. And as far as I'm concerned, it's all Las Vegas," he said.

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