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Two familiar faces enter race for mayor of Henderson

On the eve of Henderson City Councilwoman Debra March launching her bid to be the city’s next mayor, a former mayoral candidate confirmed that he will also be gunning for the seat.

March announced her plans to run to replace outgoing Mayor Andy Hafen in an Aug. 8 Facebook post, but will make it official Thursday during a campaign launch event at the Henderson Convention Center, 200 S. Water Street, at 5 p.m. Hafen, who has served on the city council since 1987, is term limited and cannot seek reelection.

Even before things become official, March already has at least one serious contender planning to run against her.

Rick Workman, who lost to Hafen in the 2013 municipal election, confirmed Wednesday afternoon that he would be running again.

“We recently decided to absolutely run again,” Workman told the Review-Journal.

Workman is a criminalistics administrator for the city of Henderson and has worked for the city for 17 years. He ran for mayor for first time in 2013.

He said he is running because he wants to see the city’s government be more open in its operations and thinks the city needs to be more efficient in how it uses its employees.

“I really believe that we need to do a better job at having an open government,” Workman said. “The citizens need to have the ability to know what’s going on in the government.”

The wake of his 2013 bid, in which he garnered 37 percent of the votes while losing to Hafen, carried well into the next year thanks in part to a Nevada Supreme Court decision that put Hafen’s claim to the seat in question.

The state Supreme Court ruled in February 2014 that city council members who were term-limited out at 12 years could not run for mayor, meaning Hafen was well past his term limit.

Workman requested Hafen step down in wake of the ruling and eventually took the petition to have the mayor removed from office to the state Supreme Court. The court unanimously dismissed Workman’s petition in November 2014 saying he had no standing to bring the petition.

Workman also claimed that the city tried to get him to drop out of the 2013 race or face an ethics violation. The city denied Workman’s claims and said there was a “misunderstanding.”

March was appointed to her Ward II city council seat in 2009 and went on to win elections in 2011 and 2015. Her current term expires in 2019.

“I love Henderson and I believe we have an opportunity to grow on many of the good things we have in place,” March told the Review-Journal when asked why she decided to run for mayor.

Eddie Hamilton, a perennial candidate, also confirmed Wednesday that he would be running for the mayoral seat. Not considered a serious contender, Hamilton has unsuccessfully run for Nevada governor, Henderson mayor, Henderson city council and most recently ran in the Republican primary for Nevada’s U.S. Senate seat where he received 1.8 percent of the votes.

Candidates seeking the mayoral bid will be able to officially file for the election starting Jan. 24. That filing period ends on Feb. 2. The Henderson municipal primary election is April 4. The general election will be held on June 13.

Two other offices — the Ward III city council seat currently held by John Marz and municipal court judge, Department 3 — are also up for election next year.

Contact Colton Lochhead at clochhead@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-4683. Follow @ColtonLochhead on Twitter.

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