Former Las Vegas employee Brian Knudsen is plotting a return to city government — this time in the political arena.

Knudsen is launching a bid for the Ward 1 City Council seat, which will be an incumbent-free race in next year’s city election. Term limits will force Councilwoman Lois Tarkanian out of office next year. Tarkanian has represented Ward 1 since she won a special election in 2005.

The central Las Vegas ward is home to the city’s burgeoning medical district, and Knudsen would prioritize city infrastructure that allows for the expansion of the existing medical centers and future growth.

“I think that as the medical district develops, transportation is a huge issue,” Knudsen said. “Safe, walkable routes around our neighborhoods is an important piece of it.”

Particularly after his son spent a month at University Medical Center last year, Knudsen began to see an integrated health care model for children as “absolutely critical,” and he calls it a “dream” for a new children’s hospital to be built in the medical district. Pushing for an integrated mental health care system, including for Las Vegas’ homeless population, is another priority, Knudsen said.

“I think every elected official should be up in arms about the critical quality-of-life issues we have in our state right now,” he said.

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