NV Legislature will see many new faces
CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) – Primary defeats, term limits and retirements will mean a lot of new faces in the 2011 Nevada Legislature.
Almost half of the 63 seats at the legislative session that starts in February will be filled by newcomers, with at least nine of the 21 senators and 19 of the 42 Assembly members being replaced.
The outcome of the November general election will set the stage for how the state deals with a projected $3 billion budget shortfall and the redrawing of voting districts.
Democrats currently hold a 28-14 advantage in the Assembly, though keeping that margin after November may be questionable. In the Senate, they hold a 12-9 edge, and picking up two seats would give them a supermajority necessary to pass any tax increases and override governor vetoes.
Assemblyman Mark Manendo, D-Las Vegas, said voters are tired of partisan squabbling and want Republicans and Democrats to work together.
“There are fair-minded people on both sides,” Manendo, who won the Democratic primary for the Senate District 2 seat, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “I don’t think it is absolutely necessary for us to pick up two seats. If you have good policy, both parties will come together.”
Seven of the potential newcomers in the Senate are Assembly members trying to change houses. If they win, they will not be legislative freshmen.
And term-limited Sen. Maggie Carlton, D-Las Vegas, won a primary for an Assembly seat.
More changes might be coming in the November general election.
Republican Elizabeth Halseth knocked over incumbent Sen. Dennis Nolan of Las Vegas in the Republican primary, but now she must get by well-funded Democrat Benny Yerushalmi in District 9 where Democrats have a solid lead.
Sen. Barbara Cegavske, R-Las Vegas, faces a formidable opponent in Democrat Tammy Peterson in District 8, where Democrats now are the majority party.
But Republicans anticipate Michael Roberson can beat Sen. Joyce Woodhouse, D-Henderson, in District 5, although Democrats hold a 2,000 voter advantage.
Longtime Carson City Supervisor Pete Livermore, a Republican, could take the Assembly District 40 seat that has been held by retiring Assemblywoman Bonnie Parnell, D-Carson City. Republicans have a solid lead in registration.
Democrats have a good chance to pick up the Assembly District 13 seat held by Assemblyman Chad Christensen, R-Las Vegas. hristensen left the Assembly and ran unsuccessfully for the Republican primary for U.S. Senate. The district is now mostly Democratic in voter registration.
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