the nevada independent logo
Election 2018

Ward 5 special election: Meet the candidates

The City of Las Vegas seal is on display in the Council Chambers on Wednesday, May 24, 2017. Photo by Jeff Scheid.

Early voting begins Thursday in the Las Vegas City Council special election to replace former Councilman Ricki Barlow, who resigned after pleading guilty to a federal charge of directing money from his 2015 re-election campaign for personal use.

Here is a short primer on eight of the candidates running for Ward 5, including their platforms. The Nevada Independent tried to contact and gather information from all 11 candidates but some were unreachable or did not respond. If we obtain information, we will add it as an update.

Curtis Coleman

Coleman is a youth basketball coach. He declined to be interviewed.

Sheila Collins


Collins was born in Las Vegas. She spent much of her childhood in Ward 5 and moved back to the area as an adult. Collins studied criminal justice at the University of Phoenix where she earned a bachelor’s degree. She is divorced with two children and two grandchildren.

Although this is her first foray into the political arena, her father, Gene Collins, was an assemblyman for District 6. Collins said her father taught her compassion and instilled the desire to make her community a better place.

She is currently the founder and president of Girlfriends Who Inspire Change, which she started in 2014. The group empowers women and girls by offering workshop training on entrepreneurship, budgeting and finance.

Her platform for Ward 5 includes:

  • Empowering marginalized groups and neighborhoods
  • Economic growth through private development by establishing a partnership with the enterprises such as the Raiders stadium for employment services and small business contracts
  • Securing safer neighborhoods
  • Maintaining beautification projects
  • Developing sustainable community gardening
  • Launching tech hubs in the neighborhoods

Cedric Crear

Crear has served as a member of the Board of Regents since first elected in 2006. Crear will give up the position if he is elected as councilman. He was also appointed as a Las Vegas Planning Commissioner by Ricki Barlow after Byron Goynes was removed from the position in 2015.

Crear was born and raised in Ward 5 and resides in the house he grew up in. His father was the second African-American doctor in Nevada and his mother was a substitute teacher. Crear attended Bishop Gorman High School and Howard University in Washington, D.C., on a tennis scholarship. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Microbiology.

Before founding Crear Creative Group, Crear previously worked for Station Casinos as a marketing director. He has been married for 23 years and has two daughters. One is a freshman at Howard University, and the younger daughter attends a local area school.

His platform for Ward 5 includes:

  • Crear says he is the most experienced candidate with deep roots, which would allow him to drive economic development, job training and advancement
  • Make the community safer and provide a better quality of life through job training within the ward so residents don’t have to travel to get to training or get to work
  • Better lines of communication with police area command to build a better rapport between the police and the community
  • Hold police accountable for their actions to ensure the residents are treated equally
  • Make unsolved crimes a priority

Timothy V. Hicks

Hicks was born and raised on Balzar Street in Ward 5 and lives in the same house he was raised in. He owns and operates a general contracting business which specializes in residential remodeling and custom home building. He graduated from Chaparral High School and met his wife of 31 years when they both attended Cashman Junior High School. Together they have 14 children and nine grandchildren.

His platform for Ward 5 includes:

  • Education, communication and economic development
  • Set up committees that would address banking, business, career training, education, housing and affordable housing committee, neighborhood security and social services and veterans. Each area of need would have its own committee. The committee would have 12 members — six permanent and six revolving members —  who would meet with Hicks frequently to plan and execute developments to revitalize Ward 5.

Shannon Hopkins

Hopkins could not be contacted as her candidate contact information only lists a partial street address.

Walter Jones III

Although born and raised in North Las Vegas, Jones has lived in Ward 5 for 32 years. He is divorced with one son in college and a daughter who works with special needs children in the Clark County School District. Jones graduated from Valley High School and attended Prairie View A&M University in Texas. He previously worked in construction and the Department of Family Services. He is self-employed and serves on the West Las Vegas Business Advisory Board.

His platform for Ward 5 includes:

  • Expand parks and recreational services to the ward
  • Improve neighborhood stabilization programs
  • Work within the community to clean up vacant homes and lands
  • Work closely with seniors to ensure all resources are available to them

Patricia S. Messinger

Messinger is a single mom and grandmother who grew up in California but has lived in and around Ward 5. She attended Clark County Community College, now the College of Southern Nevada, and earned an associate degree in business administration. Messinger is a self-employed real estate agent. During the Great Recession, the Las Vegas housing market downturn caused Messinger to lose much of her business. She moved to Texas after becoming homeless, but returned to Las Vegas two years later and continued working as a real estate agent.

Her platform for Ward 5 includes:

  • Zoning areas to take advantage of redevelopment plans
  • Listening to constituents to give them what they need
  • Finding gainful employment for homeless people who are ready to end homelessness

Joseph “Joe” Mitchell

Mitchell came to Las Vegas from Michigan in 2002 for work with Brown & Brown Insurance of Nevada. He later worked as a special assistant to the mayor and city council. His wife Jenny is a professor at the College of Southern Nevada. They are expecting their first child in May.

Mitchell attended the city’s planning academy and Urban Land Institute professional development training. The classes became the foundation for the HUNDRED PLAN, a master-planned community concept for the Historic Westside.

His platform for Ward 5 includes:

  • A HUNDRED PLAN, a master-planned concept for Ward 5
  • Preserving the character of the Historic Westside.
  • Increase job opportunities and economic investments in the ward.

Harvey J. Munford

Munford is a former assemblyman and retired school teacher. He is married with four children. He earned a Master of Arts degree from Montana State University at Billings.

Neither Munford nor his campaign manager returned phone calls or emails from The Nevada Independent.

Shondra Summers-Armstrong

Born and raised in California, Summers-Armstrong came to Nevada with her children and Air Force-employed husband in 1990. She divorced and remarried in 1994. Summers-Armstrong graduated from California High School in San Ramon, CA. She trained as a legal secretary and held positions as a judicial assistant for almost three years. She was appointed as a commissioner of the Southern Nevada Regional Housing Authority from 2009 to 2011. She has been an accounting technician for the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC) for the past 22 years.

Her platform for Ward 5 includes:

  • Ensuring any new housing construction and business is compatible to existing neighborhood in Ward 5
  • Using redevelopment funds for the preservation of aging neighborhoods within the ward
  • Ensuring Ward 5 receives its fair share of public works dollars
  • Making sure that the people who live in the neighborhood drive the vision of the community

Randy Voyard

Voyard did not return phone calls from The Nevada Independent.

This post was updated with information on Joe Mitchell at 4:50 p.m.

Disclosure: Station Casinos has donated to The Nevada Independent. You can see a full list of donors here.
Comment Policy (updated 10/4/19): Please keep your comments civil. We reserve the right to delete comments or ban users who engage in personal attacks, use an excess of profanity, make verifiably false statements or are otherwise nasty.
correct us
ideas & story tips