Raggio to be Senate majority leader again | NevadaAppeal.com

Raggio to be Senate majority leader again

Sen. Bill Raggio, R-Reno, has been elected to his ninth session as majority leader of the Nevada Senate.

Speculation following the contentious 2003 session was that Southern Nevada legislators – particularly those who opposed an $811 million tax increase – would try to oust Raggio from the position and put a Clark County senator in his place.

Raggio, however, had reportedly made peace with most of the dissidents before the election, as well as talking with the newly elected members of his caucus, former Assemblyman Bob Beers and Dr. Joe Heck.

Beers defeated longtime assistant majority leader Ray Rawson of Las Vegas in the primary and went on to an easy victory Tuesday. Heck, of Las Vegas, defeated Ann O’Connell, who served longer than any other woman in the Nevada Senate, in their primary and went on to victory himself.

Dennis Nolan, in only his second session as a senator, was named assistant majority leader for the 2005 session. Carson City’s Mark Amodei was returned to the position of president pro tempore and Dean Rhoads of Elko County as majority whip.

The assistant majority whip will be Sandra Tiffany of Henderson.

Raggio said in the brief announcement that the chairmen and membership of the Senate’s committees will be announced at a later date.

When the next legislative session is gaveled to order in February and Raggio takes the oath of office, he will also officially become the longest serving Nevada senator in state history. He and Joe Neal of North Las Vegas entered the Senate together in 1972 but Neal retired this year.

Raggio won re-election and will soon begin his 33rd year in the state Senate.

Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at nevadaappeal@sbcglobal.net or 687-8750.