Nevada Legislature: Livermore hopes for more cooperation under new legislative leadership
Carson City Assemblyman Pete Livermore cruised to a second term victory Tuesday, outpolling Democrat Rich Dunn by a margin of 57.7 to 42.3 percent in the Assembly 40 race.Livermore says he’s hoping new members and “a big change in leadership in the Assembly” will reduce some of the partisan gridlock in that body.“I’m hoping the parties can solve some issues,” said Livermore, a Republican. “Let’s sit down and work for the people of the state of Nevada.”He said when the dust clears, he expects nearly half the GOP caucus in the Assembly will be new faces. He said that may help reduce the partisan divide.The budget, he said, will still be the big issue.“It always is,” Livermore said.He said he’s hopeful the legislature will be able to muster support for the governor’s decisions to extend some of the tax hikes used to balance the current budget because of the hole not doing so would create.“It’s all difficult, extremely difficult, when you start talking about who you’re going to leave out,” he said.Livermore said the scenario gets even more interesting if Republicans take control of the Senate.“If the Senate does turn Republican, there’ll be a whole new group of leaders over there,” he said.He said he goes into the 2013 session with a lot better understanding of how the Legislature works.“I learned a lot in my first term,” he said.In Assembly 39, which represents Douglas County and the southern half of Lyon and Storey counties, Republican Jim Wheeler won with nearly 75 percent of the vote over challenger David Schumann. Wheeler will be a first-term Assemblyman during the 2013 Legislature.Statewide, Democrats have retained control of the Nevada Senate by an 11-10 margin after winning two of five key races during Tuesday’s election. In Southern Nevada, Democratic Sen. Joyce Woodhouse defeated Republican Steve Kirk in District 5, and Democrat Justin Jones won the District 9 race over Republican Mari Nakashima St. MartinRepublican Mark Hutchison beat Democrat Benny Yerushalmi in District 6, while GOP Assemblyman Scott Hammond beat Democrat Kelli Ross in District 18. In the District 15 race in Washoe County, Republican state Sen. Greg Brower narrowly defeated Democrat Sheila Leslie. Democrats are also expected to retain their majority in the Assembly when the 2013 legislative session convenes Feb. 4.• The Associated Press contributed to this report.