Voters in Las Vegas elected three new representatives to the Las Vegas City Council on Tuesday in one of the biggest shakeups to the body in at least a decade.
Former city employee Brian Knudsen was elected to represent Ward 1, former Republican Assemblywoman Victoria Seaman was elected in Ward 2, and former Democratic Assemblywoman Olivia Diaz was elected in Ward 3.
Knudsen beat Robin Munier, former liaison and special assistant to the ward’s previous councilor Lois Tarkanian. Knudsen won 2,191 votes, or about 53 percent of the vote, to Munier’s 1,943 votes. Three-term Ward 1 representative Tarkanian had hit her term limit this year.
Diaz beat neighborhood activist Melissa Clary in what turned out to be the closest race, winning 1,359 votes to Clary’s 1,285 votes. Diaz will replace outgoing two-term Councilman Bob Coffin, who did not seek reelection.
Seaman came out on top in a special election for Ward 2 that coincided with Tuesday’s general election, winning 2,984 votes, or almost 40 percent of all votes. The real estate agent was one of seven candidates vying to replace former one-term Ward 2 Councilman Steve Seroka, whose abrupt resignation in March prompted the city council to call the special election.
Seaman helped lead a recall effort against Seroka, primarily based on his opposition to a development proposal in the former Badlands Golf Course in the Queensridge neighborhood. Seroka resigned for undisclosed reasons before the recall garnered enough signatures to move forward.
The other candidates in the winner-takes-all special election in Ward 2 fared as follows: public relations executive Hilarie Grey won 2,358 votes; College of Southern Nevada instructor and former Republican Assemblywoman Valerie Weber won 1,238 votes; developer Richard Plaster won 464 votes; contract analyst Patsy Brown won 259 votes; retired small-business owner Bruce Feher won 125 votes, and attorney Derrick Penney won 58 votes.
Knudsen, Seaman and Clary will be sworn in as councilors on July 3, joining sitting elected officials Mayor Carolyn Goodman, Ward 4 City Councilman Stavros Anthony, Ward 5 Councilman Cedric Crear and Ward 6 Councilwoman Michele Fiore.
Having served in the Nevada Assembly between 2014 and 2016, Seaman jumped into the race immediately following Seroka’s resignation. Seaman has pledged to focus on crime and squatting in the predominately affluent Ward 2 and promises not to approach Badlands the way Seroka did if and when the issue comes before the council again.
As votes came in Tuesday night, she attributed her win to the hard work of her campaign and her record in the Assembly.
“I feel grateful that the constituents and the voters are confident that I will be their public servant. I feel great about that and I promise not to disappoint them,” Seaman said.
Diaz, who received a host of high-profile endorsements, came in first place in the April primary as well, beating Clary and former Congressman Ruben Kihuen. She has touted her experience as a school teacher and her four terms in the Assembly, during which time she helped revitalize the economy and establish Zoom and Victory funds for Nevada schools with high-needs populations.
“I’m looking forward to the hard work that lies ahead of us,” Diaz said.
A former employee of the City Manager’s Office, Knudsen won endorsements from Mayor Goodman, the Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce and labor and public safety unions in the Ward 1 race. He has called for changes to the short-term rental regulations established by Tarkanian, growing the Medical District by building a children’s hospital and improving education and health care access.
Knudsen thanked voters and those who supported his campaign and tipped his hat to Munier, who also has municipal government experience.
“I’m very, very grateful for the great race Robin [Munier] ran and I look forward to working with her and the residents of Ward 1 to continue the great work of Lois Tarkanian,” Knudsen said.