Barbershop chain owner, veteran challenge incumbent for North Las Vegas City Council

By: - May 23, 2024 5:15 am

A sign is shown at North Las Vegas City Hall is Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2022, in North Las Vegas. (Ronda Churchill/Nevada Current)

Home to more than 275,000 residents, the City of North Las Vegas is the state’s fourth most populous incorporated city – behind Las Vegas, Henderson, and Reno.

The nonpartisan North Las Vegas City Council includes the mayor and four members, who each represent a ward. This year, seats for two of the wards are up for reelection, but only one will appear on the June primary ballot.

Ward 2: Garcia-Anderson, Taylor, Riley

North Las Vegas Ward 2 Councilwoman Ruth Garcia-Anderson. (Photo: City of North Las Vegas)

In Ward 2, Councilwoman Ruth Garcia-Anderson is seeking her first full term. The incumbent faces two competitors: small business owner Robert “Twixx” Taylor and Air Force veteran Billy Lamont Riley.

If any candidate receives more than 50% of the votes during the primary, they will win the seat outright. If nobody reaches a majority, the top two vote getters move forward and appear on the November general election ballot.

Garcia-Anderson was appointed to her seat by the North Las Vegas City Council in December 2022 after then-Councilwoman Pamela Goynes-Brown was elected mayor. 

Ward 2 runs roughly from Rancho Drive to Interstate 15, and from Lake Mead Boulevard to Centennial Parkway.

Garcia-Anderson is endorsed by Goynes-Brown, and her fellow council members, Isaac Barron, Scott Black, and Richard Cherchio. She is also endorsed by the North Las Vegas Police Officers Association, the Vegas Chamber of Commerce, Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers Local 13, and Sheet Metal Workers Local 88.

Her campaign raised more than $23,000 in campaign contributions during the first quarter reporting period. Station Casinos was her biggest campaign donor, donating $10,000.

Since her appointment, Garcia-Anderson has served as the vice chair of the North Las Vegas Redevelopment Agency, and as a member of the North Las Vegas Deferred Compensation Plan Committee.

The mother of four earned a Bachelor of Arts in International Business with a minor in Marketing, as well as a Bachelor of Liberal Arts in Spanish from the University of Nevada, Reno.

Before being appointed to city council, Garcia-Anderson spent more than a decade in North Las Vegas as a stay at home mom. Prior to that, she worked as a Spanish language interpreter for courts in Washoe County. 

Garcia-Anderson is the first Latina to serve on the city council. She highlighted her skill as a bilingual speaker as a selling point for her reelection.

“I think that is an important skill to recognize, because I’m able to communicate with the vast majority of the residents living in the City of North Las Vegas,” Garcia-Anderson said.

North Las Vegas is Nevada’s largest minority-majority city: 42% of residents identify as white, while 42% identify as Hispanic or Latino, 22% as Black, and 6.7% as Asian.

While campaigning in Ward 2, Garcia-Anderson said she found that resident’s top priorities were public safety, the rehabilitation of neighborhoods, and education.

City of North Las Vegas Ward 2 candidate Robert Taylor. (Photo: Robert Taylor campaign photo)

Robert “Twixx” Taylor, owner of Fade ‘Em All barber shops, said his campaign is focused on personally connecting to residents of Ward 2 through door-to-door engagement.

“I literally knock on doors personally, myself, every day,” said Taylor.

Taylor previously served on the City of North Las Vegas Civil Service Board of Trustees, the Las Vegas Metro Multicultural Advisory Council, and the Urban Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. Taylor also ran for mayor in 2022 but did not make it to the general election.

Taylor has been endorsed by various progressive groups, including the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada (PLAN) Action Fund and Make the Road Action Nevada, the organization’s campaign arm. Taylor was also endorsed by the United Brotherhood of Carpenters Local 1977.

His campaign reported nearly $17,000 in campaign contributions during the first quarter of 2024. His largest single contribution was $2,500 from Rosalind Cotton, the executive director of the Children’s Center in Chicago.

Taylor described himself as extremely self motivated, recounting how he opened his first barber shop at 23 before developing a chain of shops in North Las Vegas. He also runs a professional event promotions company called Two: Ent. His experience as a small business owner is what led him to getting involved in politics, he said.

“I got hindered a few times by the local government,” Taylor said. 

He recounted a time when the main road to his barber shop was shut down for repair for nearly three months, costing him business and employees.

“I saw how they started putting all this money into that new North Las Vegas downtown situation. But for some reason, they weren’t doing anything to the property where my barber shop was,” Taylor said. “One of the big reasons I’m running is that I’m a business owner, and I feel like North Las Vegas can do better supporting small business owners.”

Taylor said he’s employed hundreds of North Las Vegas residents over the years. He believes his experience with problem-solving, networking, and leadership would serve Ward 2 effectively.

“I’m the only candidate who’s a business owner and who hires people in North Las Vegas. And I’m the only candidate who has a 20-year-plus background of doing community work in our community. I am the clear choice,” Taylor said. “Both of the other candidates have been appointed by the city. I want to be appointed by the people, the citizens, and with their vote I’ll be appointed to work for them.”

While campaigning in Ward 2, Taylor said some of the most common concerns from residents were public safety, road maintenance, and education. 

“In one specific neighborhood, the neighbors took it upon themselves and put their own speed bumps and their own cones. And they have their own signs warning about children and they say they all agree to it,” Taylor said. “If I become the councilman, I want to make sure that becomes a real thing versus the community using their own money. I don’t think they should have to do that.”

Billy Lamont Riley, a U.S. Air Force veteran, is also a contender in the race to represent Ward 2. Riley’s campaign reported $700 in campaign contributions during the first quarter of 2024.

Riley was appointed to the North Las Vegas Planning Commission in 2021, a role he is still serving. Riley earned a bachelor’s and graduate degree from Bellevue University in 2002 and an associate degree from Metropolitan Community College in 2012.

He has been endorsed by Teamsters Local 14, Teamsters Local 631, and Teamsters Local 986. He was also endorsed by the American Federation of Government Employees. 

Riley did not respond to Current’s requests for an interview. 

On his campaign Facebook page, Riley said the city has been plagued by illegal dumping on vacant lots near neighborhoods, an issue he plans to address if elected. He listed affordable housing, public safety, education, economic development, infrastructure, and the environment as top priorities on a Ballotpedia’s candidate survey.

Both Garcia-Anderson and Taylor are in support of a pair of ballot initiatives set to appear on the city’s June primary ballot that would extend two existing property taxes used to fund public safety, street maintenance and public parks. 

The street improvement tax collects 24 cents per $100 in property value and is set to expire in June 2025, while the public safety tax collects 20 cents per $100 in property valuation and is set to expire in June 2027. Together, the taxes brought in nearly $35 million in the 2023 fiscal year, according to a city budget document.

“I’m 100% in support of maintaining these taxes. The tax is not increasing. The city’s not going to be increasing the tax, we’re just maintaining it to keep our city safe,” Garcia-Anderson said.

“I think it’s important to ensure that we have enough trained officers patrolling our communities especially at night, so that their response time is improved. As well as 911 response time for medics, sometimes that just takes too long,” she continued.

Taylor said the city needs to maintain funding levels, which ‘yes’ votes would do: “We can’t go lower when there are police officer vacancies and roads that need repair.”

“But I feel that we need a deeper dive. Yes, I agree with it. I do support it, but once again, that’s something we’ve already been having but we still only have half of the staff we need. We need to use our money better to recruit,” he continued.

Garcia-Anderson and Taylor have different positions on a proposal to tie rent increases to cost of living increases, as proposed by the Culinary Union last year.

Garcia-Anderson said she would not support such an initiative without statewide implementation: “I would not support rent control only affecting North Las Vegas because that would affect the quality of homes. There would be no incentives for investors to come in, and I think we would see a decrease in property values.”

Taylor said when he ran for mayor in 2022 he did not see the need for such legislation, but has changed his position after seeing rent prices dramatically increase since then.

If elected, Taylor said he would also prioritize zoning, land use, and affordable housing. Taylor said the city council needs to find solutions to prevent out-of-state investors from monopolizing housing stock, which Taylor said is contributing to rising housing costs and the housing shortage.

“We can’t price ourselves out of our own city, out of our own state. That doesn’t make sense,” Taylor said.

Ward 4: Cherchio

City of North Las Vegas Ward 4 Councilman Richard Cherchio. (Photo: City of North Las Vegas)

Incumbent Councilman Richard Cherchio represents Ward 4 and is running unopposed, meaning his name will not appear on June primary ballots but will appear as the only option on the November ballot. 

Ward 3 runs roughly south of Bruce Woodbury Beltway to Craig Road, and from Aliante Parkway to Pecos Road.

His campaign raised nearly $108,000 in contributions during the first quarter reporting period. His largest single contributor was the Laborers International Union Local 872, who donated $10,000 to his campaign. 

Cherchio did not respond to Current’s requests for an interview.

North Las Vegas City Council appointed Cherchio to represent Ward 4 in 2009. He ran to retain the seat in 2011 but lost in the general election by a single vote. He ran again in 2015 and 2019 and won both times.

Before running for public office, Cherchio worked as a USPS mail carrier for more than two decades, according to his campaign site.

On his campaign site, Cherchio lists various initiatives he helped achieve as a member of the North Las Vegas City Council for more than a decade. Those initiatives include the construction of a Veterans Resource Center, a Job Creation Zone on Pecos Road, establishing the Tule Springs Fossil Bed National Monument, and helping the City of North Las Vegas recover from a $150 million deficit.

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Jeniffer Solis
Jeniffer Solis

Jeniffer was born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada where she attended the University of Nevada, Las Vegas before graduating in 2017 with a B.A in Journalism and Media Studies.

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