(Mike Zahara) – On January 21, 2009, North Las Vegas Mayor Shari Buck hosted her first State of the City address at Texas Station to a full house and did well with her first major public event.
An opening video montage had her grasping something in her hand as she opened it—I didn’t have my glasses on yet and I thought it was a Raisinette or a rabbit turd, but it turned out to be a seed—which she then proceeded to over turn some dirt with a garden shovel and plant it only to see it grow like an animated Jack’s Beanstalk!
Most amusing to everyone there was her doing this civic gardening in a very tasteful Chanel suit! I had no problem though as I do my yard work in Armani as I believe everyone should be required to do!
Hokey? Yes, but her point was made. She also did a $5 per ticket to Three Square proceeds donation that was a first for this type of event that I’ve seen here and a much needed ’sharing’ type of fundraising effort.
Most impressive to me? She made it a point to greet every table in the room personally; that’s very smart and what any host should do at such an event.
It was also my first time meeting her; for some reason our paths hadn’t crossed even though Councilman Richard Cherchio is a dear family friend who I had helped in his ward race against her a few years ago. I’ve stood back on commenting on most NLV matters until both got their feet wet in their new positions but the time to get back into the NLV groove has come and we’ll get into answering the big backlog of reader requests very soon!
After the presentation, I am confident that she has indeed gotten the memo that she is in fact, the mayor of North Las Vegas as she’s getting much more comfortable with the public aspects of her job, even teasing former rival and guest Commissioner Tom Collins; what I’m not sure about is whether she has read page two of that memo which points out that she is now de facto leader of the GOP in southern Nevada!
She’s the star of the SoNev GOP and she will be courted like a queen to step up and expand her political universe this spring and were she to ask me, I would tell her that the moment that filing closes that she should fully endorse Brian Sandoval, not her predecessor Mike Montandon, who as of today, is still stubbornly sticking to the guv’s race rather than taking another office he is sure to win in a strong GOP year.
Endorsing Sandoval does two things for her; it knocks Montandon down considerably for a potential congressional race from him for the new seat we’ll get next year which she may (should) also have her eye on, and it strengthens her outreach to NLV’s rapidly growing Hispanic community.
A Republican Mormon woman endorsing an Hispanic Republican Catholic who will absolutely win his party’s nomination has strong political symbolism and cache too with chits to be called in for NLV in the future and for her own political future too. In fact, I would work ensure that she endorses him as soon as possible for those reasons; and to do so very publicly with a big announcement together!
Sandoval and Buck need each other for a variety of reasons though the irony is that Mayor Buck knows Rory Reid much better and has worked closely with him. Every Republican at all levels wishing election here in 2010 would be very wise to seek Mayor Buck’s counsel, if not her endorsement, as she is now the best known elected Republican in SoNev to ‘regular voters’.
I would think that the GOP US Senate candidates would be camping outside her office door too as her public support would be considered invaluable to any of them!
(Mr. Zahara is a longtime Democrat activist and writes the WatchDogWag.com blog)