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World & Nation

Wife of popular Las Vegas mayor elected to succeed him

The wife of Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman was elected late Tuesday to succeed her term-limited husband, a colorful attorney who defended Sin City as vociferously as he once defended accused mobsters.

With 100% of the precincts reporting, Carolyn Goodman had more than 60% of the vote, easily defeating County Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani.

In his dozen years as mayor, Oscar Goodman transformed a mostly ceremonial position into one of national prominence — albeit sometimes in ways that made folks cringe. He arrived at ribbon-cuttings with bare-midriffed showgirls and touted the joys of drinking Bombay Sapphire gin, even to a class of grade-schoolers who wondered how he’d pass time on a deserted island.

But Goodman, who won his last two terms with more than 80% of the vote, was also lauded for helping attract businesses to downtown Las Vegas and for sticking up for his often-mocked city. Many residents cheered when he lashed out at President Obama for saying executives whose firms received federal bailouts shouldn’t jet off to Las Vegas.

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“His comments are outrageous, but they’re the truth,” said Walter Manecke, 80, who voted for Carolyn Goodman, the founder of an elite private academy here.

Although light on specifics, Goodman vowed to continue her husband’s agenda of turning around the economically battered, tourist-dependent city and deflected Giunchigliani’s charges that she was unqualified for the nonpartisan job. She accused the commissioner of being a big spender and too sharp-elbowed to be an effective advocate for Las Vegas.

Giunchigliani couldn’t seem to gain ground on the Goodmans, the self-proclaimed “Happiest Couple in the Universe,” who celebrated their 49th wedding anniversary this week as a campaign event.

ashley.powers@latimes.com


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