Nevada tourism chair makes a pitch for state’s top post
STATELINE – Nevada Lt. Gov. Lorraine Hunt used a familiar venue to reaffirm her intent to run for governor this year because she believes the state is ready for its first woman to take over the helm.
At a luncheon at Harveys Resort Casino, the Nevada Commission on Tourism chairwoman insisted the idea of one gender running the state is old.
“I feel people will vote not based on gender,” she told the Tahoe Daily Tribune after the gathering to unveil a visitor program intended on branding bears with Lake Tahoe.
Apparently, one of her opponents even somewhat agrees. Robert Uithoven, campaign spokeswoman for Rep. Jim Gibbons, R-Nev., agreed the state that once had the highest percentage of women in the state legislature is ready for a head matriarch.
“I remember him saying that at one point how Nevada, despite its Western heritage of being old fashioned,” Uithoven said later by phone.
Hunt said she’s ready as the No. 2 executive to continue the journey with building tourism for the state. Hunt and Gov. Kenny Guinn have both reached term limits that will take them out of office, along with other key people in the executive branch.
Hunt told a group of about 100 tourism officials, business people and artists attending a luncheon for the bear effort that losing so much talent is “a scary thought.” Flanked by other dignitaries and met with receptiveness by the crowd, Hunt commended the bear program. Fiberglass bears commissioned by artists have started to dot the landscape. They will be auctioned off by mid-October.
“Certainly a project of this kind is an attraction we need to keep doing,” she said. “All of you pay a significant role in the path of prosperity.”
Hunt also provided the group with a snapshot glimpse of her history, which started out as a lounge singer and took her into the real estate world. At age 18, she made $35 a week singing. A year later, she bought in what was then considered a remote section of the Las Vegas area as Tropicana and Eastern. Now it’s a bustling hot spot in the fastest growing city in the U.S.
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