Winner of District 39 seat making plans for first term |

Winner of District 39 seat making plans for first term

by Susie Vasquez
Nevada Appeal News Service
Shannon Litz/Appeal News Service Assembly District 39 candidate James Settelmeyer with his daughter, Caitlyn, 6, and father, Arnold Settelmeyer at home on election night. The third-generation Carson Valley rancher won election for the seat previously held by retired Assemblyman Lynn Hettrick.

Republican James Settelmeyer, 35, said his victory over Democrat JoEtta Brown in the District 39 Assembly race, shows the majority of voters support what he stands for.

Settelmeyer defeated Brown 15,547 votes to 8,294 in both Washoe and Douglas counties.

“The people clearly support the concepts I ran on,” Settelmeyer said. “I want to thank them for their support.”

In his first term, he said, he hopes to introduce a bill draft request dealing with Nevada’s unfunded liabilities and join the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency’s oversight committee, to deal with Lake Tahoe issues.

“We need to secure Nevada’s financial future,” he said. “We need to worry about tomorrow’s liabilities today, and not grow the government.”

Settelmeyer commended his opponent on a race well run and thanked all his supporters.

“I couldn’t have done it without you,” he said.

A third-generation rancher in Douglas County, Settelmeyer graduated from Douglas High School in 1989. He earned a degree in agricultural education from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, Calif., before returning to Carson Valley.

In addition to testifying at the Legislature, he has served as chairman of the Nevada Conservation Commission, appointed by Gov. Kenny Guinn. He was recently elected to serve on the United States Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency, where he serves as vice chairman.

With his father, Arnold Settelmeyer, he operates two ranches in Carson Valley. He is married to Sherese, owner of the December Hair Salon and has two children. Caitlyn is 6 and Sabrina,18 months.

Challenger JoEtta Brown, 65, said it was an exciting experience and she feels very good about her campaign. Figures indicate every Democrat in Douglas County voted for her, but this is a Republican stronghold, she said.

“I would have been proud to serve,” she said. “That didn’t happen, but losing the election doesn’t mean there isn’t something for me to do.”

Brown said she’s had several offers, but at this point doesn’t know what she’ll do next.

“I am a political person,” she said. “I believe there should be an opportunity in Douglas and other counties for Democrats and others to have a voice. We need to reach across party lines to deal with issues that affect us all.”

After working in the corporate banking world for 30 years, Brown retired and moved to Nevada six years ago with her husband of 46 years, James.

Brown got her first introduction to politics when testifying before Congress regarding urban development and affordable housing.

She has four grown children and six grandchildren.

• Susie Vasquez can be reached at or 782-5121, ext. 211.