Parnell won’t run again |

Parnell won’t run again

Geoff Dornan, Appeal Capitol Bureau
Nevada Assemblywoman Bonnie Parnell sits next to (will call in) at the State of Nevada Employee dept during a meeting of the Democratic Party meeting tuesday evening.

Assemblywoman Bonnie Parnell, D-Carson City, says she won’t seek a third term representing Carson City.

“I made this decision about a month ago and I feel so much more light-hearted,” she said. “It’s all positive reasons — nothing negative and nothing sinister.”

Parnell, 55, a retired Carson City middle school teacher, is halfway through her second term representing District 40. She said she is looking forward to finishing her term.

“I still have six or seven months to work hard on behalf of District 40,” she said.

“But I’m looking forward to working full time again and working real hard on the issues I feel strongly about as a private citizen.”

She said those include health care issues, including the cost of health insurance and the lack of accessibility to doctors and dentists in Nevada.

But she said she hasn’t committed to any job offers yet. Parnell has been working as a substitute teacher in Carson City.

Speaker Richard Perkins, D-Henderson, said her decision is “a tremendous loss to her constituents and to the state of Nevada.”

“Bonnie has accomplished more in just two sessions than many legislators do in a long career in public office,” he said.

Parnell said one of the problems may well be that she has taken the job of Assemblywoman as a full time job since her retirement from the school district.

“Maybe I took it too seriously,” she said. “I’m looking forward to going to the beach and camping this summer and going to ball games — to getting back in touch with Bonnie Parnell and having some fun.”

Parnell said she intends to remain involved as she has for years. She began lobbying for the state Parent Teachers Association in 1981, was president of the PTA, as well as state literacy coordinator and a member of the state Welfare Board before her election.

She was also Nevada’s teacher of the year the year before she ran for the Assembly.

Parnell announced her plan to retire from the Legislature at Wednesday night’s meeting of Carson City Democrats. She said the party has several good prospects to run for her spot but declined to mention any names.

District 40 is contained within Carson City. Other parts of the capital are represented by Speaker Emeritus Joe Dini, D-Yerington, Minority Leader Lynn Hettrick, R-Gardnerville, and Greg Brower, R-Reno.