As national political campaigns heat up a year from the 2020 election, so too is Mesquite’s local election for mayor and two council seats.
Leading the early charge into campaigning is Steven Lisk, who is publicly declaring his intention to run for the city council seat now held by George Rapson. Rapson has said several times that he is not running for re-election next year.
While Lisk, 33, has lived full-time in Mesquite for seven years with his wife and two young children, he works as a public defender in Las Vegas. He received his undergraduate degree from Clemson University in South Carolina and his law degree from Charlotte School of Law in North Carolina.
Lisk said his top priority, if elected, is to work on generating more affordable housing in Mesquite. He says that supports businesses and education in the long run and can increase the economic viability of the city.
“I think this issue is emblematic of how the city has been waiting to react to a problem rather than being more proactive in anticipating potential issues,” Lisk said.
“Government has a responsibility as a whole to act where it can and take a role of assistance that allows private businesses and individuals to benefit. The private sector has different priorities. The city needs to help with that by removing obstacles. And then government needs to get out of the way,” Lisk said.
If elected, Lisk would be the youngest member to ever serve on Mesquite’s city council. He thinks the younger demographics of the community are under-represented, but that age is not an ‘either or’ advantage. He said his childhood was a great intergenerational experience with his family when three generations were living in the same household.
Lisk became actively and publicly involved in local politics during last year’s uproar over the hospital closing its obstetrics and labor and delivery unit. He later filed an open meeting law complaint against the current council for alleged meetings that took place without proper notification or public involvement.
“I see a number of issues of which I think I can be part of the solution. I feel a sense of responsibility to be involved in the local community and help improve it where I can. I have the skills and temperament that will help me make a difference,” he said.
“There are always merits to both sides of every issue. I intend to make decisions to encompass both,” Lisk said.
He loves his work as a public defender even though he quipped “fifty percent of the people I make happy while the other fifty percent I make mad. That makes me a perfect person to be elected.”
Lisk says he sought to be a public defender right out of law school because “all people have a fundamental right to protections afforded them by the Constitution. It’s an important part of our society. One mistake does not define an individual.”
Mesquite Mayor Al Litman and City Councilman Brian Wursten are also up for reelection next year. The filing period for the election is March 2 – 13, 2020. The primary election is set for June 20 and the general election is Nov. 3.