LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The race for Clark County Commission District A pits two candidates against one another who've never won an election before.
Republican Michael Thomas served 27 years as a police officer in Los Angeles and Las Vegas, and Democratic incumbent Michael Naft was a government insider before Gov. Steve Sisolak appointed Naft to fill the seat he vacated on the county commission when he was elected to the state office in 2018.
Naft said his years of experience in government operation allowed him to hit the ground running in his short term on the commission and handle the coronavirus related recession.
"It’s important to me to make sure that we are looking at the recovery," he said, "and what we need to be doing right now to attract businesses that we need to succeed.”
Naft said he's passionate about providing the services people need to stay afloat during the pandemic and beyond, and ensuring that people are connected with those services.
RELATED: County Commission District C race pits city councilman against fmr. secretary of state
He said he's still looking well beyond the coronavirus pandemic's end and focusing on large scale projects like a high-speed rail connection with Southern California.
“I don’t know how much longer we can expect California residents to sit in eight hours of traffic heading home,” Naft said.
Thomas, by contrast, said he would bring a more conservative "common sense" approach to the now exclusively Democratic commission.
“The Clark County Commission for over a decade has been all Democrats," Thomas said, "and I think that’s not reflective of our community, and we need more diversity there.”
Thomas said he's pro-police, anti-red tape, and strongly opposed to business restrictions designed to stem the spread of the coronavirus.
RELATED: Nevada, Clark County officials warn of unofficial ballot sites
He said he would push for an end to compliance officers visiting businesses to check if patrons and workers are complying with the state's mandatory face mask order.
“I know there’s a virus out there," Thomas said. "I know people are dying from it, but you’ve got a 99% survival rate. I think you have to do a balancing act.”
District A encompasses most of the southern portion of Clark County.
It's composed of more conservative rural areas and more liberal urban areas of the city giving each candidate their own beneficial electorate that could place them on the commission.
Early voting ends Oct. 30 in Nevada, and Election Day is Nov. 3.