When it comes to the Dahl family in Nevada, politics and elections are serious business.
“Our public service roots run deep in this family,” said Dahl, who was recently sworn in for her second term as Ward I representative on the Fallon City Council.
Then again, this is simply family business as usual. Her father, Joe Dahl, contested Joe Dini for a State Assembly seat in 1976 and staged an unsuccessful bid for a seat on the Churchill County school board in 2012. His brother, Delmar Dahl, a one-time Fallon resident, currently serves as an Elko County Commissioner and challenged Harry Reid in the 1992 U.S. Senate race.
“It’s just something we grew up with,” Rachel Dahl said. “I have 39 cousins and several of us have been involved with politics and government public service.”
Her father was obviously a proud spectator during a ceremony in the City Hall courtyard when Rachel Dahl and James Richardson were sworn in for the second terms as council members.
“She started her interest in politics younger than I did,” said Joe Dahl. “She’s just been close to, involved in and interested in politics, it seems like, all of her life. Almost since the cradle.”
Rachel pointed out those political roots can be found with her father and her mother, Nancy, whose sister, Kathy Barker Roth, worked in the White House during the administrations of presidents Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan.
“She was very involved in Young Republicans in Nevada with Frank Fahrenkopf when Paul Laxalt went to D.C.,” Rachel said of her aunt.
The family’s political roots run even deeper.
“My grandfather, Harvey Dahl, was an assistant to the Secretary of Agriculture (Ezra Taft Benson) under President (Dwight) Eisenhower,” she noted.
Life in Washington D.C. was a memorable experience, according to Joe Dahl, who grew up in Elko County and attended schools in Wells.
“We were all little kids and my dad loaded us up and moved to the Washington D.C. area,” he said. “We lived in Virginia for two years, but then the ranch needed more help so we all came back.”
The Dahl family has other ties to prominence — inside Nevada and out. Rachel’s brother, Harvey Dahl, is a veteran offensive lineman for the St. Louis Rams and a standout during his football career with the Nevada Wolf Pack. Her maternal great grandfather, Charles Wallace Brooks, established Model Dairy in 1906.
There is just no getting around politics when it comes to the Dahls. Of course, all of this does make for interesting family reunions.
“It does,” Rachel said, laughing. “And luckily we all are fairly conservative so there’s no arguing or fighting. It’s fun.”