Las Vegas Sun

August 17, 2019

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Carolyn Goodman wins her third and final term as Las Vegas mayor

The victory heralds 24 consecutive years of Goodman family rule

Mayor Carolyn Goodman Wins Over Stavros Anthony


Mayor Carolyn Goodman, with husband former Mayor Oscar Goodman, excitedly announces her win and celebrates on election night Tuesday, April 7, 2015, during a party at her headquarters. Carolyn Goodman won her third term Tuesday, April 2, 2019.

Updated Wednesday, April 3, 2019 | 10:22 a.m.

Mayor Carolyn Goodman secured her third and final term in Tuesday's municipal primary election, defeating six challengers for the position and ushering in an additional four years of Goodman family leadership in Las Vegas.

Goodman received 22,316 votes, or 83.5 percent of the vote, making her the automatic winner of the race. Because she secured more than 50 percent of all votes, the city will not hold a general election for mayor in June.

First elected in 2011, Carolyn Goodman, 80, succeeded her husband Oscar Goodman, a three-term mayor and former Las Vegas mob lawyer. She has been credited with continuing and expanding her husband’s efforts to revitalize downtown throughout her first two terms.

While Carolyn Goodman voted early Tuesday and attended a morning campaign event, she didn't attend her election night watch party at her husband's glitzy downtown steakhouse.

During the watch party at Oscar's Steakhouse, Oscar praised his wife for both her service to Las Vegas and her strength as she battles with breast cancer.

“She’s had four treatments of chemo, and for the first three she was unbelievable in the sense that she didn’t miss a moment of working in City Hall, doing what mayors are supposed to do: doing their job,” he told the crowd.

Oscar added that she planned to rest and return to work Wednesday.

"She loves the city. She loves everybody that's in this room and she loves being the mayor of the greatest city on earth," he said.

In her final term as mayor, Goodman hopes to further develop the city’s burgeoning medical district, improve public safety, reduce homelessness and increase transportation options, campaign manager Tom Letizia said in a March interview with the Las Vegas Sun.

“She wants to continue building an intelligent transportation system aligned with technology, improving connectivity, safety and mobility,” Letizia said.

Goodman’s challengers in the Las Vegas mayoral primary were Tina Rane Alexander, Phil Collins, Zachary Krueger, Amy Luciano, Mack Miller and Vance Sanders, all political newcomers.

Collins received 1,417 votes, or 5.3 percent of the vote, Luciano received 824 votes (3.08 percent), Rane received 786 votes (2.94 percent), Miller received 616 votes (2.31 percent), Sanders received 529 votes (1.98 percent) and Krueger received 235 votes (.88 percent).

26,723 people voted in the mayoral race this year, or about 8.7 percent of all eligible voters in the city. By comparison, about 15.6 percent of all registered voters turned out for the 2015 municipal primary, in which Goodman also won by more than 50 percent.

Click to enlarge photo

Former Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman speaks on behalf of his wife, Carolyn Goodman, at Oscar's Steakhouse at the Plaza after she won a third term as mayor Tuesday, April 2, 2019.

City Council races

A total of 20 candidates sought spots on the City Council in Wards 1, 3 and 5.

The race for Ward 1 was the most crowded primary, where 10 candidates sought to replace retiring City Councilwoman Lois Tarkanian.

Former city employee Brian Knudsen won 1,245 votes, or approximately 27 percent of all votes. Knudsen will face second-place candidate Robin Munier in the general election on June 11. Munier, who is Tarkanian’s assistant, received 924 votes, or 20 percent of all votes.

In Ward 5, incumbent Cedric Crear beat two challengers, Henry “Hen Hen” Thorns and Derek Washington, both community organizers, according to their campaign sites. Crear, who was first elected in March 2018, won 59.7 percent of the vote, or 1,879 votes, enough to skip the general election scheduled for June.

Thorns came in with 922 votes, or 29.3 percent, and Washington with 345 votes, or approximately 11 percent.

“I feel great,” Crear said. “It solidifies the fact that the community likes the direction we’re going in and all the accomplishments we’ve made in a very short period of time, and they are going to allow us to execute on what we’ve been doing.”

In Ward 3, perhaps the most closely-watched primary race, former state assemblywoman Olivia Diaz came out on top with 1,016 votes, or 33.15 percent of the vote. Neighborhood activist Melissa Clary received 866 votes, or 28.25 percent.

“I’m feeling honored and super excited that the voters in Ward 3 have supported me in this primary race, and given me a percentage of votes that allows me to continue to work hard in the next round to earn their support and be their next city councilwoman,” Diaz said.

Trailing Clary by just five votes was former congressman Ruben Kihuen, who received 861 votes, or 28.09 percent. Kihuen, a former one-term congressman who has been accused of sexual harassment by multiple women, attracted national attention when he announced that he was throwing his hat in the race. A spokesperson for his campaign said that he will not seek a recount.

Although the seat in Ward 2 is currently vacant, voters won’t cast ballots in that race until a special election on June 11, which will coincide with the general municipal election.

Nine candidates have filed for the seat to replace former city councilor Steve Seroka, who resigned abruptly on March 5. The candidates include former state assemblywomen Victoria Seaman and Valerie Weber, and political newcomers Patsy Brown, Bruce Feher, Hilarie Grey, David “David O” Orentlicher, Derrick Penney, Richard Plaster and Michael “Mikey” Tomko.

Associated Press reporter Michelle L. Price contributed to this report.