Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Final Municipal Election Primary Report

So has anything changed since last night? Well, not enough to actually change the results that looked quite apparent last night. So what happened?

In Henderson, Mayor Andy Hafen slipped just under 55%, but that's still more than enough to avoid a runoff. Incumbent Ward 3 Council Member John Marz now stands just under 52%, and that's also more than enough to avoid a June runoff. The only runoff happening here will be for Municipal Judge, as incumbent Mark Stevens only scored 42% to Sandy DiGiacomo's 41%.

Again, Las Vegas will have no June runoffs at all. Ward 2's Bob Beers and Ward 4's Stavros Anthony are still above 75%. And while Ward 6 tightened up a bit, Steve Ross still finished just below 53%, which means no June runoff.

Yet while the other two major Southern Nevada cities were ho-hum, North Las Vegas was full of drama last night. We saw both a stunning rebuke (for one) and an epic comeback (for the other) as Former State Senator John Lee defeated incumbent Mayor Shari Buck 53% to 35%. Buck won't even have the chance of a June runoff, since Lee scored over 50%. However, Ward 1 will go to June runoff, as Isaac Barron scored 45% to Jared Hardy's 25%. Yet Ward 3 won't, as incumbent Anita Wood stands at just under 52%.

Unfortunately, turnout was horrific. Overall turnout was just over 11%. Henderson turnout hovered over 12%, while Las Vegas and North Las Vegas turnout only topped 10%. Yes, it was really that bad.

It's saddening to think that so few people participated in the process. As we discussed yesterday, this is the level of government we interact with most often. This was our chance to have our say in the direction of our communities and the state of our roads, parks, community centers, police & fire services, and more. Yet, only a select few of us even bothered to participate.

There's been talk of moving the municipal elections to even numbered years. I had been leery of that before, since local elections will likely be overshadowed by federal and state level elections. But at this point, is anyone even noticing municipal elections. I guess almost 45,000 people did, but that's still quite pathetic.

Otherwise, last night's results weren't really frightening. Rather, it looks like a certain "newspaper" was embarrassed badly in its effort to meddle in Henderson City Hall politics. And "tea party" efforts to defeat Steve Ross in Las Vegas backfired. At least most of those who showed up seemed to tire of the kind of zealotry that's wreaked havoc in past cycles & other elections.

So status quo reigned supreme for most of the municipal elections yesterday. That's not entirely bad... But it would have been nice to see more voter participation.

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