Thursday, February 23, 2012

Another Day, Another Special Election

I know, I know. It's hard to keep up with all the regularly scheduled elections and special elections happening this year. And now, we have another one coming... This time in Las Vegas Ward 2. Now that former Las Vegas Council Member Steve Wolfson is our new Clark County District Attorney, someone has to fill the Ward 2 vacancy he's leaving behind.

So we'll be seeing yet another special election here in Southern Nevada. Early voting starts March 15, so it's really right around the corner! And now it looks like there will be nine candidates running in this special election. Among them are:

- None other than Former State Senator and "Mean 15" right wing rabble rouser Bob Beers. Seriously, he was "tea party" before "tea party" became the new cool in Republican circles. In private life, he's worked as a CPA.

- Recently retired Las Vegas Metro Police captain Bob Chinn. He's also a Republican, but he's being endorsed by Clark County Sheriff Bill Young (R) and all the local police unions.

- Second grade teacher Sherese Holmes. She's a Democrat, and she's being endorsed by Assembly Member Harvey Munford (D-Las Vegas). For the last five years, she facilitated CCSD's English Language Learners program for immigrant children before returning to the classroom when the program was cut.

- Anthony Ruggiero, special assistant to Las Vegas Mayor Pro-tem and Ward 6 Council Member Stavros Anthony (R). He's a Republican, and he's being endorsed by Anthony. Before working for the city, he was a criminal investigator for the Nevada Attorney General's office and served on the Nevada Board of Education.

- Meadows School co-founder Ric Truesdell. He's a Republican, currently serves on the Las Vegas Planning Commission, and previously served on the Downtown Las Vegas Partnership. He's endorsed by Former Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman (I) and current Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman (I).

- And local attorney/public defender Kristine Kuzemka. She's a Democrat, and she previously ran for Las Vegas Justice of the Peace in 2010. She's served as Deputy Public Defender for the Clark County Public Defender's office since 2004, and before that clerked for both former District Judge David Wall and the District Attorney's office (when Stewart Bell was DA).

Well, it certainly looks like we have an interesting crop of candidates here. Chinn already has the police union backing locked up... But considering what's been in the news lately, that may not be much of an asset any more.

I can see Truesdell and Ruggiero duking it out for the "business establishment" support. Truesdell probably starts with a leg up because of his ties to the Goodmans. (And now that local attorney Ross Goodman isn't running, Truesdell is the closest we'll get to another Goodman in Las Vegas City Hall.)

But with Bob Beers wanting a political comeback, it may not be easy for Truesdell and Ruggiero to wrestle out a lot of GOP support. Again, Beers was "tea party" before the "tea party" became cool in GOP circles. He's already been making the media rounds and he's already seen as a local GOP "rock star". And other Clark County GOP favorite (and former local news anchor) Ron Futrell was expected to run himself, he instead endorsed Beers.

However, it may not be that easy for Republicans to reclaim this Las Vegas Council seat. (I know this race is officially nonpartisan, who really cares about that any more?) Kristine Kuzemka now has some campaign experience under her belt, and she has grown a loyal following since 2010.
We'll also have to see what Sherese Holmes does.

So far, it seems like we're in for an exciting election in Las Vegas. I can't wait to see what happens next.

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