We must admit some surprise that no one stepped up to run for mayor against Alfonso Ortiz, but there’s still the possibility of a write-in candidate. We’ll know this week whether the San Miguel County treasurer walks in to the mayor’s office unopposed; the deadline to file as a write-in candidate is Tuesday.
And the same goes for Municipal Judge Eddie Trujillo, who is also unopposed in his re-election bid for municipal judge.
Perhaps these non-races (so far) were unexpected but they aren’t that unusual in the history of Las Vegas politics. In particular, it’s not that uncommon for sitting officials to garner no opposition in their re-election bids. That indicates that (1) people are satisfied with the work they are doing, (2) potential candidates don’t think they could unseat them, or (3) nobody else wants the job.
What is unusual this time around is that no other incumbents besides Trujillo are seeking re-election. Not Mayor Tony Marquez or sitting councilors Morris Madrid and Cruz Roybal. They all opted out. And who could blame them — it’s a rough-and-tumble job to lead this city, and the annual salary’s been dropped to a mere $10,000 now. ... With benefits, of course.
We applaud those who did step up to take the heat and vie for a chance to represent the citizens and lead this city. Running in the Ward 1 City Council race are Macario Gonzalez, a 20-year council member who got pushed out of office in 2008 because of the 8-to-4 reduction in the council’s size; Tonita Gurulé-Giron, Roland Medrano and Bruce McAllister. And in Ward 4, David L. Romero, Mike Roybal and Joseph R. Baca are contending for the council seat. (Wards 2 and 3, held by Diana Moore and Andrew Feldman respectively, aren’t up for election until 2012.)
Aside from the candidate races, Las Vegas voters will be voting on a new city charter, which is the constitution for the local government. The proposed charter includes runoff elections if no candidate gets a majority in the first vote. Unfortunately it won’t be in place for this year’s municipal election, but hopefully it will get voter approval and be in place for the 2012 election.
So mark your calendar for March 2, and be sure to vote. As always, the selection you make will help determine the future of our city.