Groups to sponsor forum for candidates to replace Brooks, even though at least one has decided what race of replacement should be

Four groups are sponsoring a forum next week for the nine candidates who want to replace expelled Assemblyman Steven Brooks, even though one of them is lobbying commissioners to appoint an African-American.

The forum in the Clark County Commission chambers (see flier attached here) is sponsored by the Clark County Democratic Black Caucus, the Latino Democratic Caucus, the North Las Vegas Democratic Club and the North Valley Democratic Club. The RSVP address is for the black caucus, which is interesting because that group is imploring the commissioners to appoint an African-American. (I wonder how the white and Latino candidates feel.)

Indeed, the CCBC sent an email/letter to commissioners that did not mince words about what the race should be, even going so far as to ludicrously exaggerate: "In our view, the decision made on April 16th can decide whether or not State Government continues to have a diverse representation of the Nevada electorate."

Really? (The letter is attached here, too.)

I chatted this week with the first African-American majority leader William Horne, who said he is "torn" on the race issue. Horne pointed out his district is 5 percent black -- Brooks' district is about half and half, minority to white. Horne told me he wants the best person, not necessarily an African-American. Horne said he knows two of the applicants -- Michelle Jotz, who is white, and Tyrone Thompson, who is black -- and said either would be good.

Horne and Speaker Marilyn Kirkpatrick are interviewing candidates on Saturday for the job. (One has dropped out -- Fred Young -- and another added -- Brandon Casutt.) They will then recommend at least one candidate to the commissioners.

I'd assume the commissioners will listen, except for one thing: It's the Clark County Commission.