Doug Polk Takes First Step Toward Ousting Las Vegas Mayor after Controversial Virus Remarks

3 min read

Move over, Daniel Negreanu. Poker provocateur Doug Polk has a new foil in Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman, whom he is trying to remove from office after her appearance on CNN seeking to re-open Sin City.

Doug Polk and Carolyn Goodman
Doug Polk says time’s up for Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman. (Images: YouTube/Las Vegas Review=Journal)

Polk wasn’t bluffing when he called for Goodman’s removal last week. The former poker pro on Wednesday filed an “intent to initiate a recall,” forcing the previously popular mayor to defend her position.

Polk, who retired from poker two years ago and officially quit making poker-related YouTube videos earlier this year, now tackles political and social topics on his new YouTube channel, where he posted a video outlining his recall effort on Thursday.

Goodman, in office since 2011, drew heavy criticism over COVID-19 comments she made during an interview with Anderson Cooper in April. As the mayor made her case for reopening casinos despite potential health risks, Cooper asked if she’d be willing to enter the properties with employees. “It would be putting your money where your mouth is,” he said.

“I have a family,” she responded dismissively.

Struggle to Sign Up Anti-Goodman Brigade

To recall a sitting mayor in Las Vegas, Polk first needed to obtain signatures from just three residents who voted in the last mayoral election to file his notice of intent. That proved to be more difficult than imagined. It took Polk nearly two weeks. He said on Twitter that he had many others offer to sign the petition, but it turned out they didn’t vote in the 2019 election.

But now that he has crossed that hurdle, his next step is to get signatures from at least 25 percent of registered voters who cast a ballot in her last election. With 26,723 votes cast in that election, Polk has until Aug. 4 to collect 6,681 signatures.

Las Vegas mayoral candidates do not identify with parties. As a nonpartisan, Goodman won her 2011 election with 60.5% of the vote, and reelection in 2015 with 54.5%. In 2019, she won her third race to run Las Vegas with 83.5% of the vote. Her current term (and final, due to term limits) ends in 2023.

Should Polk succeed in his quest to oust Goodman, the city would host a special election.

Polk’s electoral pestering didn’t appear to put the mayor on tilt.

“That’s the right of anybody to file anything they want to file,” Goodman told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “What can I say? This is America. That’s his choice. Everybody’s entitled to their own political opinions.”

Unimpressed With Mayor’s Speaking Skills

Doug Polk was heavily critical of Goodman’s CNN interview performance. But he claims that wasn’t the only reason he decided to push for a recall.

Goodman wants Las Vegas residents to get back to work immediately. She doesn’t have any power over Gov. Steve Sisolak or the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB), however. So, unless she can persuade the governor to change his mind, the casinos will remain closed for the time being.

Nevada casinos have been closed since March 18 at Sisolak’s order. Wynn CEO Matt Maddox recently said he believes there’s a possibility his Las Vegas Strip mega resort could reopen as early as Memorial Day Weekend. But the final decision will be made by the governor and the NGCB.

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