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Justin Jones Ready To Represent Southwest On Clark County Commission

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(AP Photo/John Locher)

Then state Sen. Justin Jones speaks at a press conference for Nevadans for Background Checks Monday, Aug. 18, 2014, in Las Vegas.

Former State Senator Justin Jones will become a Clark County Commissioner for District F starting in January. 

Jones is a Democrat and won 54 percent of the vote over Republican candidate Tisha Black, who won 46 percent of the vote. Black had more money in her election war chest but Jones won. 

He believes it was because of his message.

"Certainly, we had the right message when it came to issues like growth, like Red Rock Canyon, like business development," he said.

He also credited the Democratic Party in Nevada for getting out the vote for the midterm election.

District F includes southwest Las Vegas and much of the west side, including Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. 

Jones believes his stance on protecting the area from development is one of the main reasons he was elected to the commission. Jones was the attorney for Save Red Rock, a conservation group that is opposed to a proposed housing development near Red Rock.

Support comes from

The housing development would go on what is known as Blue Diamond Hill, which is outside the conservation area boundaries. Opponents say it would damage the natural beauty of the area and bring more traffic. 

It has been suggested that Jones recuse himself from any votes on the development plan but he believes that is why he was elected.

"This was an important issue in the election," he said, "The voters in the southwest care about this issue and frankly, elected me in part because of that issue. It was a big difference between me and my opponent and the voters said they wanted me in this seat."

He thinks it is a "travesty" that people stand up for an issue they believe in only to have that stance used to force a recusal. Jones has been working on the case for a long time and it really boils down to his belief that it is the wrong place for the development to go.

His stance against the Blue Diamond Hill development led some people to try to paint him as anti-development, which is a depiction he opposes.

"I am pro-development," he said, "I just don't think that particular project makes sense where it is planned."

He said there are many opportunities in the southwest valley to continue the progress that has been made in the community. 

"I think that there are some great opportunities in the corridor between Switch and the new Harry Reid Research Park to ensure that we have those types of tech jobs in the southwest valley," he said.

Red Rock may be one of Jones' main issues it is not the only issue he is concerned about. He told KNPR's State of Nevada that he would like to see the Southern Nevada Water Authority do more to push for enforcement of water restrictions and conservation efforts. 

Jones has always pushed for tougher gun laws in the state. Many believe he lost his State Senate seat because of his stance on gun laws. Local governments can't make their own rules for guns because of a law passed by the Legislature, but Jones said there are things the county can do with the Las Vegas Metro Police Department to reduce gun violence, including doing a better job of enforcing laws already on the books.

The commissioner-elect also supports efforts to reduce the state's homeless population and increase services for people with a mental illness. However, he is not sure a sales tax increase to pay for those services is the best way approach.

(Editor's note: Jones' wife, Megan Jones, is on Nevada Public Radio's Community Advisory Board)

 

Guests

Justin Jones, county commissioner-elect

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