University Regent John Moran III has a rich history of public service in his family.
His grandfather John Moran served three terms as Clark County sheriff between 1983 and 1995. His father John Moran Jr., a well-known local attorney, served 14 years on the Nevada Gaming Commission until September 2021. He is the longest serving commission member in the state’s history and a former chairman.
Moran III, a 50-year-old lawyer, is seeking reelection in District 13 to a six-year term on the Nevada Board of Regents. He faces two challengers, Stephanie Goodman, who also has a prominent political name, and Jennifer Bandiero, a former beauty queen and Las Vegas resident for 20 years.
“Having a front row seat to public service over the course of the last 40 years has allowed me to see how important it is to a state, as well as how exhausting public service can be,” Moran said. “But it is necessary for me because this community has been so good to me for so many years.”
Moran chaired the Nevada Commission on Ethics from 2008 to 2011 and before that he served as a judge pro tempore for the city of Henderson from 2004 to 2008.
He currently works for the Las Vegas office of the international law firm Clark Hill and and is a member of the State Bar of Nevada’s Standing Committee on Professional Responsibility and Ethics.
Moran said the turmoil in the Nevada System of Higher Education that led to the resignation of Chancellor Melody Rose is “terrible” for everyone involved, including the students and faculty.
“I think there’s a lot more that we could be doing,” he said. “We need to be kinder and more mindful of working together as one cohesive unit. We need improvement in our level of communication with the legislative branch, the judicial branch and the executive branch.”
But Moran said he believes the institutions within the higher education system are in good shape, and the presidents are doing a great job.
He wants to continue to improve the quality of education in Nevada and make it accessible and affordable to students so businesses will continue to be attracted to the state.
Goodman, 50, the former daughter-in-law of two Las Vegas mayors — power couple Carolyn and Oscar Goodman — shares that view.
“The higher education system is the key to diversifying our economy,” she said. “I think it’s so important that we work with the economic departments of the state, counties and cities, and sort of get out of our silos and bring jobs here and train people.”
Goodman, a Las Vegas native, runs her own advertising agency and has served as the executive director of the Dr. Robert Hunter International Problem Gambling Center since 2019.
She says she is a UNLV graduate and was elected student body president there.
Goodman served as Oscar Goodman’s chief of staff for several years after he was elected mayor in 1999. She resigned after getting engaged to one of his sons, now-Justice of the Peace Eric Goodman. The couple was divorced in 2012.
One of her goals is to protect free speech within the higher education system.
“I think if there’s anyplace that free speech should have a safe haven it should be on a university and community college campus,” she said.
Goodman believes she can have a calming presence on the Board of Regents.
“I think it’s important that the regents be in the background making thoughtful decisions that affect the students, faculty and the community as a whole,” she said. “I think that’s kind of been lost. I can bring those qualities to the board.”
Bandiero, the third candidate in the race, could not be reached for comment.
Her campaign website describes her as a longtime volunteer and community activist.
It she says she will work to ensure equal educational opportunities for all within the university system and promote campus safety, medical privacy and the right of students to speak freely on social media without repercussions from their schools.
“Jennifer has a vision and a strong desire to restore conservative ideals to Nevada’s Higher Education System,” her website says.
Born in Buffalo, she is a former Mrs. New York and says her life has been influenced as a victim of two serious vehicle collisions in that state.
“Jennifer has overcome immense adversity, including confronting and overcoming death twice due to reckless driving,” according to her website. “Her life was transformed as a result of this experience, which brought her greater understanding, desire and motivation to live her life as a warrior.”
She has been a public advocate for traffic safety, with more than 300 speaking engagements across the country.