For Women’s History Month, we’re highlighting the first female mayor of Las Vegas

March is Women’s History Month and Las Vegas has a long history of female trailblazers.
Published: Apr. 1, 2022 at 11:49 AM PDT
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - March is Women’s History Month and Las Vegas has a long history of female trailblazers.

From human rights to politics, entertainment to gaming, women in this state have been at the forefront of making Las Vegas the city we call home now. Jan Jones Blackhurst is one of those trailblazers.

“Your first reaction is euphoria,” Jones Blackhurst said. “Then ‘Oh man, what have I got myself into?’”

Jones Blackhurst recalled the night she shocked the political world and was elected the first female mayor of Las Vegas.

“The political powers that be said don’t be ridiculous, you could never win,” Jones Blackhurst said laughing. “I thought that’s ridiculous. It’s just marketing, so I ran on a dare. To my shock and everyone else’s, I won at the primary.”

Mayor Jones Blackhurst served Las Vegas from 1991-1999. The city was exploding in growth, popularity and prestige. Caryll Batt Dziedziak is the Director of the Women’s Research Institute of Nevada. She said the former mayor’s ideas and energy were exactly what the city needed.

“We’re in this iconic cultural change. Las Vegas was on steroids. We had a young, female mayor who took the city by the reigns and steered it in a new direction,” Dziedziak said.

In 2019, Nevada became the first state in the country to elect a female majority to the state legislature. It was an historic moment that Jones Blackhurst said she was proud to witness and hopes to see more of.

“Never let anyone define for you what you are, who you are, what you aspire to,” she said. “You decide what you want, and you might be surprised one day to wake up and be mayor of Las Vegas.”