Big money is on the move in Las Vegas’ Ward 2.
Two political action committees and three City Council contenders raised a combined $1.1 million this year in a contentious and costly contest to decide who sits in one City Council seat.
Contribution and expense reports filed Friday provide a final look at candidate war chests before voters decide City Council races Tuesday in Las Vegas, North Las Vegas and Henderson.
Las Vegas Ward 2 Councilman Bob Beers, who is trying to fend off a challenge from Steve Seroka, a retired Air Force colonel, reported raising $30,480 from May 20 to June 8. His campaign has brought in $399,778 in 2017.
Beers got a boost from his council colleague Lois Tarkanian, whose campaign donated $5,000.
Seroka raised $41,310 this period, upping his total to $271,588. Christina Roush, who was eliminated in the primary, had pulled in $280,532.
Combined, the two PACs have raised $172,288 in their mailer-focused quests to defeat Beers or Seroka.
The anti-Beers PAC, Citizens to Preserve Neighborhoods, raised $40,288, most of which has come from Roush. The group spent roughly $34,000, with $27,000 going to A&B Print and Mailing.
Citizens for Better Neighborhoods, the PAC that’s been sending mailers almost daily slamming Seroka, raised $69,000 since May 20 and $132,000 since its February creation.
The group has spent $113,534 on newspaper advertisements, postage and printing. The mailers’ content has ranged from criticizing Seroka for his stance on developing the Badlands golf course to salacious details from his ex-wife’s decade-old divorce filing.
The Badlands development, which returns to the Planning Commission on Tuesday, has fueled much of the Ward 2 race rhetoric. Since May 20, two limited liability companies listing the same address shown on Badlands developer EHB Cos.’ website, have pumped $15,000 into the PAC.
Meanwhile, $49,000 has come from eight different entities — including more LLCs and a family limited partnership — all listing the same Charleston Boulevard address. EHB Cos. has listed the same address with the secretary of state in past contributions to political campaigns.
In Las Vegas’ Ward 6, Michele Fiore pulled in $87,651 this period, to Kelli Ross’ $41,050. With 2017 contributions totaling $473,534, Fiore’s contributions are more than double Ross’ $211,360.
The Clark County Democratic Party filed a complaint with the secretary of state Tuesday, alleging possible misappropriation of campaign dollars, about Fiore’s campaign fund paying $44,000 to Politically Off the Wall, a consulting firm she created.
Fiore’s campaign paid the firm another $23,000 in May and June, the most recent filings show. Fiore’s team defended the practice, calling it a standard LLC that serves to simplify paying canvassers and associated taxes.
North Las Vegas
In North Las Vegas, challenger Scott Black outraised Ward 3 incumbent Anita Wood.
Black, the primary’s top vote-getter took in $28,076 from May 20 to June 8, upping his total to $141,627. He spent $112,383.
Black’s largest contribution was $5,000 from T.J. Fechser, son of former Wynn International Chairman Jack Binion, whose family owns land for a proposed shopping center in the city.
Wood’s contribution records did not appear on the secretary of state’s website Saturday morning. Her campaign manager, Bradley Meyer, sent a copy of her latest campaign documents to the Review-Journal.
Wood said that she could not find her name during a search Friday on the secretary of state’s public portal.
Kent Alexander, a spokesman for the Nevada Secretary of State’s office, did not return a phone call Saturday.
“I got an email confirmation that I submitted the paperwork on time, but I have no idea what’s going on,” Wood said, adding that she plans to follow-up with the Secretary of State’s office.
Ward 3 incumbent John Marz raised $51,910, more than 10 times his opponent, from May 20 to June 8 for a $237,155 total, reports filed with the secretary of state’s office show. He received $5,000 each from Soro LLC, GKT Acquisitions LLC, Insight Investment Partners LLC and LVGV LLC — which also operates as M Resort.
The report also shows Marz has spent $468,962 on his campaign this year — or $231,807 more than what he has raised — with much of it going to advertising-related expenses.
Challenger Carrie Cox’s contribution records also did not show on the secretary of state’s website, but Cox gave a copy of the documents to the Review-Journal.
Records show she raised $4,910 this period for a total of $31,724. Since January, Cox has spent $24,506 on her campaign. Her biggest contributors were Terrible Herbst, Samsone Companies and Sherolyn Emery, each donating $1,000.
Debra March, who won the mayoral race in April, raised $5,840 this period, and $164,752 in 2017.
Contact Jamie Munks at [email protected] or 702-383-0340. Follow @JamieMunksRJ on Twitter. Contact Art Marroquin at [email protected] or 702-383-0336. Find @AMarroquin_LV on Twitter. Contact Sandy Lopez at [email protected] or 702-383-4686. Follow @JournalismSandy on Twitter.