Joe Dini, a former Nevada state assemblyman and casino owner from Yerington, died Thursday morning, according to his son, George Dini.
Dini was elected to the Nevada State Assembly for the 38th district in 1967 and served until 2001, making him the longest serving assemblyman in Nevada history. He also served as the Speaker of the Assembly for eight sessions at various times between 1977 and 1999, the most sessions in Nevada Assembly history.
“I am deeply saddened by the loss of my good friend, Joe Dini,” said U.S. Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev. “A true legislator, he understood that legislation is the art of compromise and as a moderate Democrat, Joe worked with fellow legislators and governors from both sides of the aisle. I can think of no higher praise, than when the late Bill Raggio said Joe had, ‘one of the greatest legislative careers in the state of Nevada,’ and I agree. He devoted his life to public service, and always had every Nevadans’ interests at heart. My thoughts are with his family during this difficult time.”
Congressman Mark Amodei, R-Nev. (CD2), said it was an honor for him to serve with Dini.
“Joe Dini represented the prototype for public service in the Nevada Legislature,” Amodei said. “He was a person who transcended partisan labels and did more in a given week during a legislative session for Nevada than most do in a year. When you look up ‘Mr. Speaker’ in the Nevada dictionary, Joe Dini’s picture is there. The consummate Yerington Lion from Mason Valley, his lifetime accomplishments for his community and his state are without equal. My sincere condolences to Mouryne and his boys. One of the neatest experiences I’ve had in Nevada public life is being able to say I served with Joe Dini in the Nevada Assembly. Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and Rest In Peace.”
Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., said Nevada has lost a great resident.
“With the passing of Joe Dini, Nevada has lost a statesman, a dedicated public servant, and a man who will be remembered for encouraging respect among his colleagues,” said Heller. “Joe’s colleagues elected him Speaker of the Nevada State Assembly eight times, which is a remarkable testament to his leadership abilities and the distinction with which he served.
“Joe leaves behind a legacy that very few will ever match. I join my entire family in extending our thoughts and prayers to Mouryne, to George and to all of his children, and thank them for their service as well throughout the past many years.”