After eight years as the state’s chief executive, Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval’s term is almost up.
The governor took time out Monday to reflect on his tenure in an exclusive interview with Politics Now Co-host Steve Sebelius.
After eight years in office as the governor of Nevada, Sandoval has plenty to look back on, including his win in a competitive race against the son of political legend Harry Reid. There’s also the fact that he was able to turn billion dollar deficits into surpluses, wildfires, floods, and the tragedy of 1 October.
Gov. Sandoval also passed the largest tax increase in state history to fund historic improvements to Nevada schools.
When asked what advice he’d give his successor, the governor said:
“Well, you’ve got to work hard. I mean, you don’t get a day off. Care deeply about the people of this state. Make decisions and recognize that this is a very diverse state with very distinctive populations in rural Nevada, northern Nevada, and southern Nevada. Meet with people. Look them in the eye, listen to them. You know, that’s what I’ve tried to do. When you’re making decisions, go out there and talk to the people the best that you can so that it can really be an informed decision. I could go on and on, but at the end of the day, just take care of us.”
Before he leaves office, Sandoval plans to inaugurate a new tradition, inviting all former living governors to Carson City for a dinner, including Governor-elect Steve Sisolak, D-NV, so it’s likely the incoming governor will be able to get advice from a number of his predecessors before he officially is sworn in on Jan. 7th.
Governor Sandoval said he couldn’t name a single most memorable moment of his tenure, which began back in 2010, but he says moments when he can see the impact he’s had on people’s lives are what stick in his mind.
“One of the things that’s most validating is people that stop you in Costco, or home depot, or the grocery store and they thank you because something you did or a decision you made made a difference in their lives or their family’s lives,” Sandoval said. “The Medicaid expansion and people getting medical coverage that didn’t otherwise have it. K-through-12 education and someone’s child getting the attention that maybe they weren’t getting before, a smaller classroom, or getting resources that they didn’t have before. I think those are the things that I enjoy the most.”
Although Sandoval is term-limited, he said he wouldn’t have wanted to seek a third term, even if it was allowed. He said he’d accomplished the goals he set for his administration when he ran eight years ago and is ready for the next step.
Sandoval’s next step will be in Las Vegas where he will become a distinguished fellow in law and leadership at the William S. Boyd Law School at UNLV.
There’s a lot more to Steve’s interview with the governor, including his biggest regret in office and his sometimes complicated relationship with the Nevada Republican party. The full interview will air on a special edition of Politics NOW Saturday at 4:30 p.m.