Vegas Mayor Goodman weighs bid for governor |

Vegas Mayor Goodman weighs bid for governor

LAS VEGAS (AP) – Las Vegas’ flamboyant and term-limited mayor says he’s considering running for governor as an independent.

Democrat Oscar Goodman, a former mob lawyer who often attends public events flanked by showgirls, said Thursday that he may mount a campaign that would appeal to voters disaffected by partisan politics.

Goodman says he would run as a “total maverick.”

“That’s the way I ran as mayor,” he told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “I do it my way. It’s always worked for me.”

Goodman’s third and final term ends in 2011 and the 69-year-old has appeared reluctant to leave public office. He has explored ways of exempting himself from state term limits and previously expressed interest in running for governor or U.S. Senate. The idea of an independent run is new.

Goodman said he discussed the possibility with another colorful political character who ran outside the two major parties. He said he recently spent 45 minutes on the phone with Jesse Ventura, the former professional wrestler and one-term Minnesota governor.

“We shared ideas, and I said I’d be talking to him again,” the mayor said.

Democrats have lined up early for the chance to take on Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons, an unpopular Republican who has drawn primary challengers.

Both Clark County Commissioner Rory Reid, the son of U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and Assembly Speaker Barbara Buckley are expected to run strong campaigns for the Democratic nomination.