2019 arrives: Change is coming for Nevada politics

    2019 arrives: Change is coming for Nevada politics

    This is what transition looks like.

    “Fresh paint, new furniture - it's pretty exciting,” incoming County Commissioner Justin Jones said Wednesday in what will be his office on the sixth floor of the county government center.

    The walls were being painted and the middle of the office was a jumble of furniture and paint cans. Jones is replacing the term-limited Susan Brager in District F.

    “The other day I walked in and there was a sign on the door that had my name on, and when I walked in the building this morning I was up on the video from the Channel 4 county government interview I did the other day,” Jones says.

    He will be one of three new commissioners who will oversee a county government surpassed only in size and budget by the state itself.

    “They’re gonna have to focus on what they feel is important to them,” says Commissioner Larry Brown, who represents District C, which encompasses the northwest part of the valley. “If someone comes in and thinks they’re going to get their arms around 38 departments – isn’t gonna happen.”

    RELATED | Steve Sisolak: Transition in 'great shape'

    Next Monday, the new commissioners get sworn in, and commission chair Steve Sisolak will get sworn in as governor at the state capitol in Carson City. He will be Nevada's first Democratic governor in 20 years, arriving in a capitol where Democrats control the legislature and every constitutional office except one. Nevada also has the distinction of becoming the first state in the nation where women make up the majority of the legislature.

    The Sisolak administration is already forming: On Monday his transition committee announced key hires, including well-known Democratic political operative Michelle White as chief of staff, who was already heading-up the Sisolak transition.

    On Thursday, Democratic congresswoman Jacky Rosen becomes Nevada's new U.S. senator, joining fellow Democrat Sen. Catherine Cortez-Masto. Nevada will become one of seven states represented by two women in the U.S. Senate.

    Wednesday, Rosen’s office announced key hires, including Dara Cohen as chief of staff, a role she held when Rosen was in the House. Another key staffer will be former Assemblyman Nelson Araujo, who lost his bid to become Secretary of State in November. He will become Rosen’s state director.

    In Washington, the new Congress gets sworn in Thursday and in the House, Democrats take over. Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-California, is expected to easily reclaim her title of House Speaker.

    Over at conservative talk radio, News 3 asked 790 AM’S Kevin Wall what he expects.

    “I expect very little. I think it’s going to be great theater,” Wall said.

    “I think you’re going to have impeachment at the forefront of what House members are going to do,” Wall says, expecting Democrats to move forward with articles of impeachment depending on what Special Counsel Robert Mueller concludes in his investigation. Mueller has spent more than a year probing alleged Trump campaign collusion with Russia, something the president has denied ever happened.

    Local progressives have a different view about what to expect beginning Thursday.

    “I think the House of Representatives will provide that check and that balance that we've desperately needed over the past year and a half,” says Annette Magnus, the executive director of Battle Born Progress.

    The new year will also usher in municipal political battles. Candidate filing begins January 22nd for contests for city council in Las Vegas, Henderson, and North Las Vegas. In addition, Las Vegas voters will elect a mayor and Henderson voters will elect a judge.

    In Clark County, the governor-elect still has to resign his seat in Commission District A, a seat he’s held since 2009. It will then be up to Governor Steve Sisolak to appoint his own replacement.

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