Sen. Mark Amodei, R-Carson City, will become the new president of the Nevada Mining Association on Oct. 1, replacing Russ Fields who is retiring after 10 years in the position.
Amodei leaves his current position as a partner with the law firm of Kummer, Kaempfer, Bonner, Renshaw and Ferrario at the end of this month.
"The people at Kummer Kaempfer are as good as it gets," he said. "But I've been practicing law for 24 years now and the opportunity to transition into something different is something I'm interested in."
Amodei joined the firm in April 2004 and helped lead efforts to open Kummer Kaempfer's Reno office. That office in Reno and Carson City now has 35 lawyers.
Amodei is a fifth generation Nevadan whose predecessors worked the Comstock Lode around Virginia City.
In the mining association's announcement, board Chairman John Mudge said Amodei's "passion and enthusiasm will be incredible assets for our association and the industry."
Asked whether heading the mining association would create a conflict with his seat in the Nevada Senate, Amodei cited his and his law firm's long lists of clients with lobbying interests in the Legislature.
"My potential conflicts have just taken about an 80 percent drop," he said.
But Amodei said he and the association's board would specifically concentrate on that issue.
"If, in order for me to be clean, I need to not be in that position and that's the conclusion we come to, then that's what I'll do," he said.
But he said he expects disclosing his situation and abstaining from certain specific votes will take care of any conflict.
He also pointed out that he won't be running again because of term limits so the 2009 session will be his last in any case.
A Republican, he was first elected to the Nevada Assembly in 1996 and the Senate in 1998.
He has been Senate President pro tempore and chairman of the Judiciary Committee since the 2003 session. He also serves on the Natural Resources Committee, which has jurisdiction over mining issues.
Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at email@example.com or 687-8750.