Oscar Goodman, a flamboyant lawyer who gained famed defending such mobsters as Meyer Lansky and Tony "The Ant" Spilotro, was elected mayor of Las Vegas today.
Goodman defeated Arnie Adamsen, a veteran city council member, completing his transformation from mob mouthpiece to a populist figure promising to solve the city's growth problems.
With all of 204 precincts reporting, Goodman had 63.8 percent, to Adamsen's 36.2 percent.
Goodman came within 277 votes of winning the mayor's post outright against Adamsen and seven others in the May 4 primary. Goodman, 59, entered the race expecting he would have to defend his past. Instead, "it looks like a nonissue as far as Las Vegas is concerned," Goodman said today. "It was always a nonissue with me. I love my past. I don't apologize for one day in my life."
Goodman called for developers to be assessed fees to help pay for road and air quality improvements made necessary by the city's runaway growth. Donations from casinos poured in to his campaign.
Adamsen prided himself on paying attention to more mundane matters such as crossing guards and stop signs. His warnings that Goodman would be dangerous for Las Vegas's image failed to take hold with the voters.