Sisolak pledges diverse administration as governor |

Sisolak pledges diverse administration as governor

Michelle L. Price
Associated Press
Nevada Governor-elect Steve Sisolak, center, shakes hands with Laniesha Dawson, right, at an International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees union hall Friday, Jan. 4, 2019, in Las Vegas. The visit was one stop on a road trip through Nevada before his inauguration Monday in Carson City, Nev. (AP Photo/John Locher)

LAS VEGAS — Gov.-elect Steve Sisolak pledged Friday to install a diverse group of people in his administration that reflects all of Nevada.

“It’s not going to be bunch of old white guys with gray hair like me,” the Democrat said.

His remarks were met with applause and cheers by labor union supporters, including many people of color and women, who attended a celebration for Sisolak at a labor hall for theatrical stage workers in Las Vegas.

The stop was part of a multi-day tour he’s making on the drive north to the capital Carson City, where he’ll be inaugurated on Monday.

He will become the state’s first Democratic governor in about two decades. He defeated Republican Attorney General Adam Laxalt, the grandson of former Gov. Paul Laxalt, in November, in part because of strong support from labor unions.

Sisolak said he was headed to Carson City “to do what you elected us to do, which is represent all of Nevada and in particular pay attention to the working men and women of Nevada.”

He repeated his campaign pledge to protect health care coverage for pre-existing conditions, improve the state’s education system and create jobs.

Sisolak has spent a decade on the Clark County Commission, which oversees the Las Vegas Strip and surrounding communities.

Following up on his pledge, Sisolak on Friday afternoon announced he was appointing two women to cabinet positions.

Julie Butler, who works as a division administrator at the Department of Public Safety, will be his Department of Motor Vehicles director. His Department of Taxation director will be Melanie Young, who has spent 20 years in state government, including roles at Taxation, the Department of Public Safety and Department of Health and Human Services.

Later Friday, Sisolak was expected to visit Creech Air Force Base and High Desert State Prison in Indian Springs and make stops in Beatty and Tonopah.

On Saturday, Sisolak was scheduled to tour the Walker River Paiute Tribe Reservation and stop in Yerington.

He told the Associated Press that he hoped to visit places he didn’t go while campaigning and meet more Nevadans, along with learning more about the prison and Air Force base. He said there isn’t much for the state to do to address the partial federal government shutdown.

He said the Nevada Department of Transportation has been replacing some federal money it relies on with some reserve funds.

“Hopefully the president will work with Congress and get this resolved and be able to move this forward so the country can get back moving again,” Sisolak said.