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Tyrone Thompson appointed to fill vacant Assembly seat

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Steve Marcus

Tyrone Thompson, right, gets a high five from Meli Pulido after he was appointed to replace expelled Nevada Assemblyman Steven Brooks during a county commission meeting at the Clark County Government Center Tuesday, April 16, 2013. Pulido was also a candidate in the selection process.

Updated Tuesday, April 16, 2013 | 5:45 p.m.

Tyrone Thompson Appointed to Replace Steven Brooks

Tyrone Thompson gets a hug from Meli Pulido after he was appointed to replace expelled Nevada Assemblyman Steven Brooks during a county commission meeting at the Clark County Government Center Tuesday, April 16, 2013. Pulido was also a candidate in the selection process. Launch slideshow »

Clark County Commissioners have chosen Odis “Tyrone” Thompson to replace Steven Brooks as the assemblyman for District 17 in North Las Vegas.

Thompson, who works on homeless initiatives for the Southern Nevada Regional Planning Coalition, was chosen over six other candidates by commissioners in a unanimous vote at their Tuesday meeting.

His appointment comes three weeks after Brooks was expelled from the Assembly after months of increasingly erratic behavior.

After the meeting, Thompson said he planned to be in Carson City starting Monday.

“The district did not have a voice,” he said. “Now we have some representation.”

Ten people applied to fill Brooks’ vacant seat, but three dropped out before Tuesday’s vote. Commissioners had a chance to meet the candidates in a public forum hosted by several political groups Monday evening. On Tuesday, commissioners took input from more than a dozen members of the audience and gave each candidate a chance to speak before making their final decision.

Thompson was one of two candidates recommended for the seat by Assembly Democrat leadership. The other, Meli Pulido, is a former Las Vegas city employee who now runs a nonprofit organization.

Commissioner Tom Collins said he put “a lot of weight” into Speaker Marilyn Kirkpatrick’s recommendation when making the motion to appoint Thompson.

Kirkpatrick said Assembly leaders backed Thompson and Pulido because of their familiarity with the district and their widespread community involvement.

Thompson will have little more than a month to make an impact in Carson City with the legislative session already halfway over and important deadlines already passed.

He said he wants to work to help bring jobs back to his district and contribute his expertise to discussions on transportation and social service issues.

“I’m accessible, if you need me and you want the help I’m there,” Thompson said. “I really want to work with the elected officials from North Las Vegas to make it the place I know it can be.”

The other candidates interviewed by commissioners Tuesday were Pulido, Michelle Jotz, Glynn Coleman, William Robinson II, Mujahid Ramadan and Brandon Casutt.

To be considered for the seat, applicants were required to be registered Democrats and live in Assembly District 17, an area bounded approximately by Lamb Boulevard on the east, Clayton Street on the west, Craig Road on the south and stretching north past the 215 Beltway.

Brooks was expelled from the Assembly earlier this year.

In January, he was arrested on suspicion that he threatened Kirkpatrick, D-North Las Vegas. No charges have been filed in connection with that incident.

A week later, Brooks was detained by police for a psychiatric evaluation after a domestic disturbance at a relative’s house involving a sword. Brooks was arrested a second time in February and charged with domestic battery and resisting a police officer.

On the night of his expulsion, Brooks was arrested in California after arguing with a tow truck operator over services and leading police on a chase on Interstate 15. He remains in custody in San Bernardino County, Calif.

CORRECTION: This version corrects the spelling of Odis. | (April 16, 2013)

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