This Tuesday, Las Vegas voters will go to the polls and select a new mayor and two new councilors — sort of. They’ll definitely select one of the two new council members, to represent Ward 2, but for Ward 3 they’ll more than likely select two candidates, the top two vote-getters, to face each other in a runoff.
And for mayor, unless one of the eight candidates gets a majority, a runoff will pit the top two in that race as well.
According to City Clerk Casandra Fresquez, Tuesday’s voting will be canvassed, or certified, on Wednesday, then she will request a special City Council meeting to pass a resolution to set a date for the runoff.
She said she intends to ask for it to be April 17.
That seems like a long way out, but Fresquez insists it’s necessary because the city must treat the runoff as an entirely separate election, with early and absentee voting included in the process. So we’ll likely have a long wait before finishing up this municipal election.
That’s OK with us, because it’s still preferable to allowing one candidate to win with a simple plurality — which, in the case of the mayor’s race this year, could dip down under 20 percent for the top vote-getter. With the runoff system in place (even tentatively, since a legal challenge to the new charter is planned for after the election) this election will produce two council members and a mayor elected by majority votes. So, for this election cycle, two of your votes will be counted — if you come back in April.
As for Tuesday, there are 16 candidates from which to choose. In Ward 2, only Diane Ortiz and Vincent Howell are competing for the council position, while in Ward 3 there are six candidates — Carlos Perea, Joseph McCaffrey, Joey Herrera, Martin Gallegos, Mack Crow and Frank Casey — vying for the council position. For mayor, there are eight candidates: Edward Tsyitee, Alex Tafoya, Thomas Rascón, Alfonso Ortiz, Bruce McAllister, Chris Lopez, Tonita Gurule-Giron and Jill Baskerville.
Those are the choices, now it’s up to you. We’ve all had time to get to know where these candidates stand on the issues — their voices have been heard. Now it’s time for your voice to be heard.
Reports last week were of sluggish early voting, which usually indicates a low overall turnout. We hope that’s not the case but if it is, those who vote will have an even bigger say in the results. As those who don’t vote — well, don’t complain down the road; you forfeited your say.
We’d rather vote and be proud that we did than stay home and be embarrassed that we didn’t. If you feel the same way, we’ll see you at the polls.