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Election 2020 | Elections | IndyBlog | Legislature

SEIU executive board member announces campaign for McCurdy’s open Assembly seat

The Nevada Legislature as seen on May 16, 2017. (David Calvert/The Nevada Independent)
Shondra Summers-Armstrong. Courtesy Shondra Summers-Armstrong.

Democrat Shondra Summers-Armstrong announced this week that she is launching a campaign for Assembly District 6, a seat currently held by Democrat William McCurdy II.

The district, in which 62 percent of voters are registered Democrats, includes the area south and east of the North Las Vegas Airport and north of US Route 95. McCurdy announced plans to vacate the seat to run for Clark County Commission in 2020.

“Too many people right now are struggling every month to make ends meet and afford basic expenses,” Summers-Armstrong said in a press release. “I’m going to make sure that our community continues to have a strong advocate in Carson City and that our voices are heard.”

This spring, Summers-Armstrong was one of 11 candidates who applied for an appointment to the Senate District 4 seat, which had been vacated after then-Democratic Sen. Kelvin Atkinson pled guilty to misusing campaign funds and resigned. The Clark County Commission appointed Democrat Marcia Washington to the seat in March.

She had also sought to replace Las Vegas City Councilman Ricki Barlow in a crowded special election in 2018.

For more than two years, Summers-Armstrong has served as chief steward with the SEIU for the Regional Transportation Commission. Since May, she has been an executive board member of SEIU Nevada, which represents thousands of health care workers and public employees in the state.

If elected, Summers-Armstrong would succeed another legislator with an SEIU connection—McCurdy has worked as an SEIU organizer.

According to a press release, advocating for cash bail reform is one reason Summers-Armstrong decided to run for office.

Cash bail reform has been a hot topic in North Las Vegas districts. In March, Assemblyman McCurdy facilitated a criminal justice town hall at Pearson Community Center in which several Nevada lawmakers discussed cash bail and other issues related to criminal justice reform.

Summers-Armstrong noted in her campaign announcement that she has resided for 20 years in West Las Vegas — an area where historic preservation and development have recently garnered attention, especially the Moulin Rouge in District 6. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Moulin Rouge was the nation’s first racially integrated hotel.

The Southern Nevada Regional Housing Authority has considered developing a new casino and public housing complex on the site of the now-demolished Moulin Rouge. In meetings with the housing authority, some Historic Westside residents and officials have expressed concerns about handing over such a culturally significant property to developers.

Primary elections for the Legislature are scheduled for June 9.

This story was updated at 3:57 p.m. on Sept. 5, 2019 to note McCurdy's affiliation with SEIU.

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