Las Vegas Sun

October 30, 2014

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Politics:

Goodman’s wife freed up for possible mayoral bid

Mayor supports a 2011 run, but his political future might be the obstacle


Carolyn Goodman says she started the Meadows School because she feared public schools were not adjusting to the county's changing demographics.

Carolyn Goodman says she started the Meadows School because she feared public schools were not adjusting to the county's changing demographics.

Time is growing relatively short for Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman to decide whether he will run for governor.  The mayor told reporters Thursday that he has until the end of the year to change his party affiliation to non-partisan, which would keep his options open.

Time is growing relatively short for Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman to decide whether he will run for governor. The mayor told reporters Thursday that he has until the end of the year to change his party affiliation to non-partisan, which would keep his options open.

Now that she is set to give up the reins of the Meadows School, Carolyn Goodman is no longer saying she won’t run to succeed her husband as Las Vegas’ mayor.

In the past, she had always brushed off the idea by pointing out how dedicated and busy she was as president of the prestigious private school she founded a quarter-century ago. But this week she informed the school’s board and its more than 900 students’ families that her last day on the job will be July 1.

The announcement is being seen by some as an indication that Oscar Goodman does intend to run for governor next year or that Carolyn Goodman intends to run for mayor in 2011 — or both.

When hizzoner was asked Thursday whether her retirement was tied to his gubernatorial decision, he said, “Oh, no. She is completely independent of me. She spent 26 years at the Meadows and she wants to explore other avenues.”

Like the one that leads to City Hall?

“You’d have to ask her. My wife is her own boss. That is one person over whom I have zero control,” he said, then laughed.

But she told the Sun he is the reason she is considering a bid to keep a Goodman in the mayor’s office, because she may be the one who is most likely to see her husband’s downtown redevelopment plan to its fruition. Her husband has been telling her that for more than a year.

In September 2008, he told the Sun that she was his first choice to succeed him for that very reason. And “morning, noon and night” he is still telling her she’s the only one who can finish what he started, she said.

Two sitting council members, Gary Reese and Steve Wolfson, have also expressed interest in being sworn in as mayor in 2011. Reese has long served as Mayor Goodman’s lieutenant on the council and has said he expects to have the mayor’s support.

But Carolyn Goodman said her husband has told her: “ ‘Everyone on my council is very wonderful and so capable, but they don’t have the passion for the pieces that I have. You’re the only one who understands all the pieces.’ ”

And he’s not the only one encouraging her to run. An increasing number of people have been telling her she would make a great mayor — and they figure she would be a shoo-in.

She’s got the name recognition — and access to more than ample campaign financing — needed to be a successful candidate. The ranks of Meadows School students’ parents and grandparents include many of the valley’s most wealthy, influential and famous residents. They could easily finance a massive campaign.

How would the mayor’s wife do as mayor?

One political operative, who did not want to be identified, didn’t think she could put up with the job because she is “not one to suffer fools lightly.”

“I really like her, but Oscar’s really easygoing,” he said. “You get some nut who asks Oscar crazy questions, and he just laughs. She’s not that type.”

Then there are people such as longtime Las Vegas developer Irwin Molasky, who has known the Goodmans for decades. He was tickled at the idea of Carolyn for mayor.

“I think she would be fantastic and so dedicated,” Molasky said Thursday. “She’s a bright lady and it would be wonderful if she ran. It would be great for the city.”

Ironically, the one thing that could prevent her from fulfilling her husband’s hope is her husband. If he is elected governor or a U.S. senator, she says, that would keep her from running because she couldn’t bear to be away from the man she has been married to for 47 years.

“He has told me ‘I’m not going anywhere without you,’ ” she said, adding that the mayor’s job wouldn’t be appealing if he was in another city.

About the same time his wife was talking about the possibility of her first bid for elected office, the current Mayor Goodman was telling reporters at City Hall that he is still considering a gubernatorial run in the November 2010 election.

But candidates can’t file to run for the Las Vegas mayoral office until January 2011, so if one Goodman runs and loses — the other would still have an opportunity to run her own race.

Sun reporter Dave Toplikar contributed to this story.

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