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Cowboy Commissioner Tom Collins Isn't Hanging Up His Spurs Yet


Tom Collins at a special lighting of the Welcome to Las Vegas sign in 2012.

The man known as “the Cowboy Commissioner” now says he plans to run for North Las Vegas mayor.  

Tom Collins told KNPR's State of Nevada that he plans to run for the office, if the city exists. 

"If the city is still around, I will definitely be running for mayor," Collins said.

The reason he thinks its existence is in question is because of bond payments that are coming due in 2017. Collins believes the topic of whether the city will be around will be discussed in the 2017 legislative session. 

Collins has long been a critic of the leadership in North Las Vegas and continued that criticism during Friday's interview.

"It's not a safe community, as I said on this show a couple of months ago," he said "There ain't enough cops. There's a real problem with leadership over there."

Collins also took issue with the current mayor of North Las Vegas John Lee. The former commissioner said he had campaigned for Lee and helped him get into office; however, he believes the mayor "doesn't have any loyalty or respect for his colleagues."   

The former commissioner said he raised "well over $50,000" during a birthday party and fundraiser earlier this year that will go toward his mayoral run.

Collins said he has to move his elderly parents but after that he'll be "in business." 

"I've had too many people tell me that I've got too much history, knowledge and respect and dedication to just - ride away"

Collins is a native Las Vegan who once shot up a tree in drunken anger and has ridden bulls and bucking horses for much of his life.

Collins resigned his commission seat a few weeks ago. Governor Brian Sandoval appointed his friend, Assemblywoman Marilyn Kirkpatrick, to replace him. 

Tom Collins, former Clark County Commissioner 

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Joe Schoenmann joined Nevada Public Radio in 2014. He works with a talented team of producers at State of Nevada who explore the casino industry, sports, politics, public health and everything in between.