Las Vegas Sun

December 19, 2014

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Four veteran lawmakers head list of NLV candidates

Four veterans of North Las Vegas City hall will face off against a number of candidates who hope to thwart their runs for re-election.

City Council members Stephanie Smith and John Rhodes face stiff competition for their seats for Ward 3 and Ward 1.

Smith, 43, a music teacher at Woodbury Elementary School, will be challenged by Mark Kincaid, son of Clark County Commissioner Mary Kincaid, and Planning Commissioner Anita Wood.

Smith, who has served one term on the council after serving in the Legislature, has been a resident of North Las Vegas since 1997.

Mark Kincaid, 38, said because he was raised in North Las Vegas, he carries a unique perspective of how far the city has come and what needs to be done to ensure prosperity.

While his campaign focus will be similar to his opponents' -- more parks, recreation and police -- Kincaid said he has come up with his own solutions. He said he would reveal those solutions during the campaign.

In November Smith ran and lost against Mary Kincaid in the Democratic primary for the County Commission District B seat.

Planning Commissioner Anita Wood, 37, said she has no political ties, as her two opponents do, and would bring accountability to the seat. Wood, who was appointed to the commission by City Councilwoman Shari Buck, said if she were elected, she would devote herself full time to the council's work.

Rhodes, who is facing three felony counts of insurance fraud -- will be challenged by four candidates.

Robert Eliason, 37, warranty services manager for Juliet Land Co, began campaigning months ago for the seat held by the two-term councilman. Eliason formerly chaired the North Las Vegas Planning Commission and serves on the city's parks and recreation board.

Rhodes, 35, has lived in North Las Vegas since 1968. Rhodes served on the Clark County School Board after being appointed to finish the term of Yvonne Atkinson Gates, who resigned to run for County Commissioner.

Theron Goynes, who was a North Las Vegas councilman for almost two decades, will try to get back into politics, saying the problems faced by Rhodes has put a cloud over his ward -- and the city. Goynes, 71, said the mature ward needs continued help so it can thrive like the growing northern part of the city.

James Burns, a loan officer, and Leroy Pasbrig are also running.

Mayor Michael Montandon, who has held one term, will run against three candidates. Montandon, though, expects an easy win.

John Cook, 3:16, a homeless advocate, and Mark Crabtree, Sr. a land surveyor, will run for mayor. Glen Easter, a frequent critic of the police department, will also try for the seat. Easter, 52, lost to Mary Kincaid in November's general election race for the County Commission.

Municipal Judge Warren VanLandschoot, 55, will face off against three candidates.

VanLandschoot, raised in North Las Vegas, was a police officer for the North Las Vegas Police Department for 29 years before being elected judge in 1997. He was a homicide detective for almost 20 years.

Richard Melson, 54, moved to North Las Vegas from Las Vegas to qualify to run for judge. Melson has been a warrant officer with the North Las Vegas Police Department for 17 years.

Aaron Tippets, 51, was raised in North Las Vegas and graduated from Rancho High School. Tippets moved to Las Vegas after he graduated from high school and moved to North Las Vegas in December to run for office.

Attorney Lewis Gazda also is running.

In January 2000 the council approved a $16,000 raise in salaries for the future mayor and City Council.

The future mayor's salary will increase from $23,500 to $39,500 annually. Future council salaries will more than double, from $18,500 to $34,500 annually. The positions are considered part time.

The new Municipal Court judge will earn $90,000 yearly, up from $68,000 annually.

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