Compared to the way it looks this year, the Nevada State Senate may look very different in 2019 because a number of lawmakers will leave their jobs.
Some are returning to private life, while others are seeking higher office. The legislative brain drain could sap nearly a century of elected experience from the legislature’s upper house.
But, with term limits and the occasional bid for higher office, Nevada’s legislature will always see its share of change. This year, Nevada’s 21-member State Senate could see as many as eight new members or more than a third of the entire body.
Collectively, that accounts for 85 total years of legislative experience turning over in just a single year.
First, longtime State Senator Don Gustavson has decided not to seek re-election. He’s been in the legislature for a total of 18 years.
State Senator Patricia Farley, who switched parties to register non-partisan before the 2017 session, isn’t running for re-election, either. She’s been around for four years.
State Senator Mark Manendo resigned in July, following an investigation into sexual harassment charges. Before resigning he had served for 23 years.
Some of the lawmakers are reportedly thinking about running for higher office. Senator Aron Ford may make a bid for Nevada’s Attorney General position in 2018. State Senator Scott Hammond has already announced a bid for the 3rd Congressional District, and fellow Senator Michael Roberson has said he’s running for Lieutenant Governor.
Senator Tick Segerblom will make a bid for Clark County Commission, and Senator Pat Spearman is thinking of running for secretary of state. Collectively, these lawmakers represent 40 years of experience.
That loss may be mitigated somewhat if two assembly members are successful in climbing to the senate. Those assembly members are Assemblyman Ira Hansen of Sparks and Assemblyman James Ohrenschall.
Sparks will try to replace Gustavson, and Ohrenschall wants to replace Manendo. If they both win, they will take their collective 20 years experience from the Nevada State Assembly to the senate if they both win.
It’s likely that other members of the assembly may file to fill the remaining six open Senate seats.
The loss of experience isn’t limited to the legislature, either. Governor Brian Sandoval, Lieutenant Governor Mark Hutchison, and Treasurer Dan Schwartz are all leaving office, as well.