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Moore may enter mayoral race

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By David Giuliani

City Councilman Diane Moore said she is looking at the possibility of running for mayor next year, arguing that the city needs a change in leadership.

In an interview last week, Moore said she has “opened the door” to entering the mayoral race. The election is in March.

She would be joining just one announced candidate, Ramon “Swoops” Montao, who revealed his intentions months ago. Former County Commissioner LeRoy Garcia announced in the summer that he would consider running for mayor, and last week, he said he was still mulling over the possibility.

Mayor Henry Sanchez, a retired coach who has been mayor since 2002, won’t say whether he will run again. Last time, he didn’t announce his intentions until a little more than two months before the election.

Sanchez said Monday that he is focused on natural gas issues and not thinking about whether he’ll run again.

If Moore ran and won, she would be Las Vegas’ first woman mayor. Just three years ago, all but one of the positions on local elected bodies — made up of the County Commission, the City Council, both school boards and the Luna Community College board — were filled by men. Now, there are five women.

Moore has been a harsh critic of the city administration. Last week, State Auditor Hector Balderas reported that Moore was one of the residents who requested an analysis of whether the city has complied with its ordinance on setting natural gas rates.

Moore said she didn’t believe there was anything criminal in the way the rates were set but she wanted an independent analysis. She has repeatedly expressed her frustration with the high rates and the lack of information about how the city arrived at the rates.

Because city elections occur near the end of winter, heating bills often become a big issue.

Since her election in 2006, Moore has been a proponent of reducing council pay, irking many of her colleagues in the process. As it stands, local council members, who make $19,854 annually, make more than their counterparts across the state.

The Committee of the People, a local group that started two years ago, has been running advertisements looking for someone who can provide leadership to run for mayor.