Catherine Cortez Masto, a former Nevada attorney general who is running for the U.S. Senate, and retired U.S. Sen. and former Gov. Richard Bryan will be the main speakers at this year’s annual Churchill County Democrats Sawyer-Bryan Dinner on Thursday at the Fallon Convention Center.
Masto, who grew up in Las Vegas, is seeking the seat currently held by Harry Reid, who announced last year he would not seek re-election.
The no-host social begins at 6 p.m. followed by a buffet dinner one hour later.
Masto was first elected attorney general in 2006 and re-elected in 2010. Term limits prevented her from seeking re-election in 2014.
One of her first priorities after taking office in 2007 was to set up a statewide Methamphetamine Working Group to combat the use and distribution of meth in Nevada.
Masto said as fighting drugs as the attorney general took a four-pronged approach of prevention, treatment, legislation and law enforcement. Because of her office’s work during her first term, there was a decrease in both the number of people using meth and meth labs. She said the infrastructure in place in Nevada helped with prevention and treatment and consisted of a network of community coalitions, including the Churchill Community Coalition.
Other major focuses during her time in office included setting up a senior protection unit to pursue abuse, neglect and exploitation of seniors and strengthening laws preventing sex trafficking and violence against women.
Masto is no stranger to Churchill County. As attorney general, she talked to various groups and took an interest in issues facing senior citizens.
When Masto visited the Churchill County Senior Center during her first term, she spoke about watching her grandfather get taken advantage of because of his age. She said the Senior Protection Unit in her office offered assistance in Medicaid fraud and helped train seniors to recognize and report the signs of fraud.
Masto previously served as an assistant county manager for Clark County, was a federal criminal prosecutor for the United States Attorney’s Office in Washington, D.C., and chief of staff to former Gov. Bob Miller.
She received her bachelor’s degree in finance in 1986 from the University of Nevada, Reno and her law degree from Gonzaga University in 1990. Upon graduating from law school, Masto joined the Nevada State Bar Association. Her initial steps onto the Nevada political stage came when she received the position of Southern District Director for Miller.
Bryan served as Nevada’s 25th governor from 1983 to 1989 and as a United States senator from 1989 to 2001. Like Masto, he graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno in 1959 and earned his law degree from the University of California, Hastings College of Law. In 1963 he was admitted to the Nevada Bar.
Bryan also received a commission in the U.S. Army and attended his officer basic course at Fort Benjamin Harrison, Indiana.
From 1972 to 1978, Bryan served in the Nevada Senate, and in 1979, he became the state’s attorney general. He served until 1983.
As a U.S. senator, he served on the following Senate Committees: Finance, Banking, Vice Chairman-U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and Commerce.
Tickets for the dinner are $40 per person. For information on the dinner including buying tickets, contact Nyla Howell at 775-867-4229