Las Vegas mayor election could seal 24-year Goodman legacy

April 1, 2019

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman will ty to beat back half a dozen challengers in a primary election Tuesday, hoping to cement, a 24-year reign in the Las Vegas mayor’s office that she has shared with her husband, Oscar Goodman.

The 80-year-old Carolyn Goodman was easily re-elected in 2015 and is expected to similarly sail to another four-year term. Goodman brings her incumbency and familiar last name to a match up against six lesser-known political newcomers in the nonpartisan election.

She must win more than 50 percent to lock-in re-election and skip a June general election.

Goodman in 2011 succeeded her husband after he spent a dozen years as Las Vegas mayor. Oscar Goodman, a former mob lawyer, was a Sin City icon who frequently appeared with showgirls on his arm and martini in his hand.

His wife, the founder of an elite private school, has used her term in the office to oversee a redevelopment of the city’s downtown.

Voters across Clark County on Tuesday will also cast ballots for a handful of local seats up in the off-year municipal elections.

About 20 candidates are also seeking three Las Vegas city council seats.

The race getting the most attention, for the city’s Ward 3, involves former U.S. Rep. Ruben Kihuen whose rise in the Democratic Party was derailed by sexual harassment allegations.

Kihuen left Congress in January, declining to seek another term following the allegations, only to quickly mount a return to public office by running for an open city council seat representing the city’s northeast corner.

The U.S. House Ethics Committee found last year that allegations from three women who accused Kihuen of sexual misconduct were credible. Kihuen said he never intentionally engaged in harassing behavior but regretted his conduct.

A political action committee named No Means No, Ruben PAC has been formed to work to defeat him, and powerful labor unions that previously backed him, including the Service Employees International Union and powerful casino workers’ Culinary Union, threw their support behind former state lawmaker Olivia Diaz.

Voters will also cast ballots in races for three council seats and one municipal judgeship in Henderson, two council seats in North Las Vegas and the mayor and two council seats in Boulder City.