Steve Sisolak

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Steve Sisolak
WEB GovElectSisolak2.jpg
30th Governor of Nevada
Assumed office
January 7, 2019
Lieutenant Kate Marshall
Preceded by Brian Sandoval
Chair of the Clark County Commission
In office
January 7, 2013 – January 7, 2019
Preceded bySusan Brager
Succeeded by Marilyn Kirkpatrick
Vice Chair of the
Clark County Commission
In office
January 3, 2011 – January 6, 2013
Preceded bySusan Brager
Succeeded byLarry Brown
Member of the Clark County Commission
from district A
In office
January 5, 2009 – January 7, 2019
Preceded by Bruce Woodbury
Succeeded byMichael Naft
Member of the Nevada Board of Regents
from the 2nd district
In office
January 1, 1999 – December 31, 2008
Preceded byMaddy Graves
Succeeded byTheresa Malone
ConstituencySubdistrict G
Personal details
Born (1953-12-26) December 26, 1953 (age 66)
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S.
Political party Democratic
  • Dallas Garland
    ( m. 1987; div. 2000)
  • Kathy Ong
    ( m. 2018)
Children2 (with Garland)
Residence Governor's Mansion (public)
Spring Valley, Nevada, U.S. (private)
Education University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee ( BS)
University of Nevada, Las Vegas ( MBA)
Website Government website

Stephen F. Sisolak (born December 26, 1953) is an American businessman and politician serving as the 30th and current Governor of Nevada since 2019. A member of the Democratic Party, he previously chaired the Clark County Commission from 2013 to 2019.

After becoming involved in several civic causes and government projects, Sisolak won election to the Nevada Board of Regents and served from 1999 to 2008. In 2008, he won election to the Clark County Commission and was reelected in 2012 and 2016. In 2018, Sisolak won the Democratic nomination for Governor of Nevada, defeating Clark County Commission colleague Chris Giunchigliani in the primary election. On November 6, 2018, Sisolak defeated Republican nominee, Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt in the general election, becoming the first Democrat serving in the Nevada governorship since Bob Miller left office in 1999.

Early life

Sisolak was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the son of Mary, who worked at a convenience store and Edward Frank Sisolak (1925–2004), a project engineer for General Motors. [1] [2] He is of Czech descent. [3]

Sisolak earned a B.S. in business from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee in 1974, and an M.B.A. from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in 1978. Both of his daughters attended UNLV. [4]


Sisolak is a successful entrepreneur, and was a partner in the American Distributing Company, a venture that sells coffee cups, pens, and other promotional items to businesses, as well as holding a partnership in a second company, Associated Industries. [5]

He began his involvement in elected office by winning a seat on the Nevada Board of Regents in 1998, where he served for 10 years. He was then elected to the Clark County Commission, with his term beginning in 2009. [4] He was elected by his peers as Chair of the Clark County Commission in January 2013. [6]

Nevada Board of Regents

During his time on the Board of Regents, Sisolak discovered that thousands of Nevada students had been wrongly charged out-of-state tuition and won refunds for these students. [7]

In 2002, Sisolak sided with students and voted against a 16% tuition increase. [8] Sisolak voted against student fee hikes in 2003 [9] and 2008. [10]

Sisolak fought to bring back a popular apprenticeship program at the College of Southern Nevada that has been abruptly canceled during the recession. [11]

Clark County Commission

After joining the commission in 2009, Sisolak was "vehemently opposed to raising property taxes" [12] and property tax rates remained flat during his entire tenure on the commission. [13] Sisolak voted against increasing the county gas tax in 2013. [14] He served as the commission's vice chairman [15] before becoming chairman in 2013. [16]

Sisolak won praise from the conservative Nevada Policy Research Institute for fighting against waste, fraud, and abuse. [3] A spokesperson for the institute said, "His efforts to hold government accountable, especially the firefighters, and look closely at how tax money is being spent should be applauded." [3] Sisolak successfully pushed [17] the Water District to terminate a contract with Wolfgang Puck that was costing taxpayers $600,000 per year. [18] During the recession, Sisolak was a vocal critic of overtime and sick leave abuse, [19] and his efforts resulted in over $7 million in reduced overtime costs [20] and $30 million in reduced disability costs. [21]

Sisolak successfully fought to cut the pay that Clark County Commissioners receive. [22]

Sisolak voted to refund $4.1 million to 1,600 Laughlin property owners who had been overcharged assessment fees. [23]

Sisolak supported the "More Cops" initiative, which added 720 new officers to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, [24] and Republican Sheriff Joe Lombardo said that these additional police officers helped reduce violent crime 7% in 2018. [24]

Under Sisolak's chairmanship, Clark County opened The Harbor, an innovative juvenile justice resources center that operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and has prevented 3,000 youths from entering the criminal justice system. [25]

Sisolak supported bringing the Golden Knights [26] and Raiders to Las Vegas. [27] According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Sisolak was the "driving force" behind getting the Raiders to come to Las Vegas. [28]

In addition to the county commission, Sisolak's other government involvement includes vice president and board of directors member for the Las Vegas Valley Water District and board of directors member for the Southern Nevada Water Authority. He has also served as a member of the Colorado River Commission of Nevada, and vice chair of the board of commissioners for the University Medical Center Of Southern Nevada. [29]

Sisolak is involved with many civic, charitable and business organizations, including the Henderson Chamber of Commerce, the American Red Cross-Clark County Chapter, the UNLV Alumni Association, Seniors United, American Red Cross Leadership Council, Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce, Las Vegas Better Business Bureau, the Boys & Girls Club, Hispanics in Politics, St. Joseph Husband of Mary Catholic Church, and the Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth. [4]

Governor of Nevada


Sisolak in February 2020

On January 7, 2019, Sisolak was sworn in as the 30th Governor of Nevada. [30]

On May 30, 2019, Sisolak vetoed a bill that proposed the adoption of National Popular Vote Interstate Compact in the presidential elections. [31]

Political campaigns


Sisolak first won election as a member of the Nevada Board of Regents in November 1998. [5]


Sisolak won a close race to replace out-going Republican Commissioner Bruce Woodbury in November 2008. [32]


Sisolak won re-election as County Commissioner in November 2012, receiving the endorsement of the Las Vegas Review Journal [33] and Las Vegas Sun. [34]


Sisolak had considered running for Governor of Nevada in 2014, [35] but declined in February 2014. [36] [37]


Sisolak won re-election as County Commissioner in November 2016. [38]


Sisolak won the November 6, 2018, general election for Governor of Nevada, winning 49.4% of the vote to Republican Adam Laxalt's 45.3%. [39] Sisolak became the first Democratic governor elected since 1994.

Sisolak was long considered a potential candidate for Governor of Nevada in the 2018 election. [40] Sisolak officially announced his candidacy on June 22, 2017. [41] He defeated Clark County Commission colleague Chris Giunchigliani on June 12, 2018 to become the Democratic nominee for that office. [42] On Tuesday, November 6 he was elected Governor of Nevada. Although he lost all but two county-level jurisdictions, he carried the two largest, Clark and Washoe. He won primarily on the strength of carrying Clark County by 86,600 votes, more than double his statewide margin of 39,700 votes. [43]

Sisolak's campaign priorities were education, healthcare, and the economy. [44] He released a healthcare policy platform that included proposals to reduce pharmaceutical drug prices, fix Nevada's doctor shortage, and protect Nevadans with pre-existing conditions. [45] Sisolak said he wanted to continue Governor Sandoval's Medicaid expansion [46] and new funding for education. Sisolak supported Question 1, also known as Marsy's Law, the crime victims rights bill. [47] Sisolak opposed Question 3, the Energy Choice Initiative. [48]

He was endorsed by former President Barack Obama, [49] former Vice President Joe Biden, [50] Senator Catherine Cortez Masto, Representative Dina Titus, [51] the Sierra Club, [52] the Human Rights Campaign, [53] Let America Vote, [54] and the Law Enforcement Coalition of Nevada. [55]

Personal life

Sisolak married in the late 1980s and had two daughters with his wife, Lori "Dallas" Garland. Sisolak and Garland later divorced. Sisolak dated Kathleen Boutin Vermillion, who at the time of her relationship with Sisolak was a Henderson city councilwoman. [3] Shortly after winning the 2018 Nevada gubernatorial election, Sisolak announced his engagement to Kathy Ong, an Ely, Nevada native and girlfriend of five years. [56] On December 28, 2018, Sisolak announced his marriage to Ong. [57]

2005 lawsuit against McCarran Airport

Sisolak, a property owner on Las Vegas Boulevard South, received a total of $23.5 million in 2005 after the airport refused to pay him for height restrictions imposed on a parcel he owned. McCarran officials had warned that paying off property owners who lost land value because of the height restrictions could cost more than $1 billion and make air travel to or from Las Vegas more expensive. Still, the Nevada Supreme Court ruled that landowners can seek compensation if planes flying below 500 feet hinder their ability to develop high-rise buildings. Sisolak maintained that his land, acquired before Clark County imposed height restrictions, has been devalued and that he was entitled to compensation. [58] [59]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Edward Sisolak Obituary - Las Vegas, NV | Las Vegas Review-Journal".
  3. ^ a b c d Wyland, Scott (March 7, 2010). "Commissioner Sisolak likes maverick image". Law Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved June 10, 2019.
  4. ^ a b c "Commissioner Steve Sisolak". Clark County. Archived from the original on August 26, 2013. Retrieved August 21, 2013.
  5. ^ a b "Clark County Commissioner Biography: Steve Sisolak" (PDF).
  6. ^ "Sisolak wins election as county commission chairman - Las Vegas Sun Newspaper". Retrieved 2018-10-10.
  7. ^ "Regents reduce in-state tuition standard - Las Vegas Sun Newspaper". Retrieved 2018-10-10.
  8. ^ "Chancellor says students resigned to tuition hikes - Las Vegas Sun Newspaper". Retrieved 2018-10-20.
  9. ^ "UNLV officials propose student fee hikes - Las Vegas Sun Newspaper". Retrieved 2018-10-10.
  10. ^ "Fee hikes are the forgotten increases in college costs - Las Vegas Sun Newspaper". Retrieved 2018-10-10.
  11. ^ "Won't you come back, CSN asks unions - Las Vegas Sun Newspaper". Retrieved 2018-10-20.
  12. ^ "County might boost property taxes to help ailing UMC". Las Vegas Review-Journal. 2013-04-25. Retrieved 2018-10-10.
  13. ^ "Public safety is focus of new Clark County budget". Las Vegas Review-Journal. 2018-05-21. Retrieved 2018-10-10.
  14. ^ "In weighing race for governor, political bulldozer Steve Sisolak plays it coy". Las Vegas Review-Journal. 2014-01-05. Retrieved 2018-10-15.
  15. ^ "Brager Appointed Chair, Sisolak Tapped as Vice-Chair". District A Newsletter. Las Vegas, NV. 2011-02-01.
  16. ^ Shine, Conor (2013-01-07). "Sisolak wins election as county commission chairman". Las Vegas Sun.
  17. ^ "I-Team: Sweet Restaurant Deal Being Scrutinized". 2009-07-10. Retrieved 2018-10-20.
  18. ^ "Water District contract sparks flap - Las Vegas Sun Newspaper". Retrieved 2018-10-20.
  19. ^ "Sisolak offers proof of firefighters 'gaming' sick leave system - Las Vegas Sun Newspaper". Retrieved 2018-10-15.
  20. ^ "Study: County firefighters' average compensation dips to $175,000 from $189,000 - Las Vegas Sun Newspaper". Retrieved 2018-10-15.
  21. ^ "Sometimes, arbitration benefits the county — this time by $30 million - Las Vegas Sun Newspaper". Retrieved 2018-10-15.
  22. ^ "On split vote, county commissioners take 2 percent pay cut - Las Vegas Sun Newspaper". Retrieved 2018-10-15.
  23. ^ "Clark County to repay $4.1M to Laughlin property owners". Las Vegas Review-Journal. 2018-02-22. Retrieved 2018-10-20.
  24. ^ a b "Sheriff Lombardo: Crimes rates down in Las Vegas - Las Vegas Sun Newspaper". Retrieved 2018-10-10.
  25. ^ "Las Vegas youth center expanding to 24-hour service". Las Vegas Review-Journal. 2018-01-23. Retrieved 2018-10-20.
  26. ^ "Sisolak Uses Golden Knights Game Images For Gubernatorial Campaign TV Ad During Last Night's VGK Broadcast - LVSportsBiz". LVSportsBiz. 2018-04-04. Retrieved 2018-10-10.
  27. ^ "Clark County OKs bonds sale for Las Vegas Raiders stadium". Las Vegas Review-Journal. 2018-04-03. Retrieved 2018-10-10.
  28. ^ "Sisolak's gubernatorial bid draws support from Raiders front office". Las Vegas Review-Journal. 2018-02-20. Retrieved 2018-10-20.
  29. ^ "About Us". Retrieved 2018-10-10.
  30. ^ Bill Dentzer (January 7, 2019). "Steve Sisolak sworn in as Nevada's 30th governor — Video". Las Vegas Review Journal. Retrieved June 1, 2019.
  31. ^ Eli Watkins (January 7, 2019). "Nevada governor rejects effort to join popular vote compact". CNN. Retrieved June 1, 2019.
  32. ^ "2008 Election Results —". Retrieved 2018-10-10.
  33. ^ "Review-Journal's 2012 election endorsements". Las Vegas Review-Journal. 2012-10-21. Retrieved 2018-10-10.
  34. ^ "The Sun's 2012 endorsements - Las Vegas Sun Newspaper". Retrieved 2018-10-10.
  35. ^ Knapp, George (January 16, 2013). "The case for Steve Sisolak for governor". Las Vegas City Life. Archived from the original on October 12, 2013. Retrieved August 21, 2013.
  36. ^ Myers, Laura (February 17, 2014). "Clark County Commissioner Steve Sisolak won't run for governor". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Archived from the original on February 22, 2014. Retrieved February 17, 2014.
  37. ^ Doughman, Andrew (February 17, 2014). "Sisolak says he won't run for governor against Sandoval". Las Vegas Sun.
  38. ^ "Nevada Election Results 2016". Retrieved 2018-10-10.
  39. ^ State, Nevada Secretary of. "Statewide - Nevada General Election 2018". Retrieved 2018-11-08.
  40. ^ Sebelius, Steve (January 14, 2017). "Who will Democrats pick to run for governor in 2018?". Las Vegas Review-Journal.
  41. ^ "Steve Sisolak announces he's running for governor - Las Vegas Sun Newspaper". Retrieved 2018-09-29.
  42. ^ State, Nevada Secretary of. "Nevada Primary Election 2018". Retrieved 2018-09-29.
  43. ^ "Nevada gubernatorial election results | CNN".
  44. ^ "Steve's Priorities | Steve Sisolak for Governor of Nevada". Steve Sisolak for Governor. Retrieved 2018-10-10.
  45. ^ "Providing affordable, high-quality health care for every Nevadan - Steve Sisolak for Governor". Steve Sisolak for Governor. Retrieved 2018-10-15.
  46. ^ "When it comes to health care, Steve Sisolak and Adam Laxalt differ on Medicaid, Obamacare". Reno Gazette Journal. Retrieved 2018-10-15.
  47. ^ "Clark County Leaders Overwhelmingly Support Crime Victims' Rights Effort – Marsy's Law". Marsy's Law. 2017-08-14. Retrieved 2018-10-15.
  48. ^ "Sisolak, Giunchigliani both say they'll oppose retail choice ballot question after voting for it in 2016". Retrieved 2018-10-10.
  49. ^ "Nevada governor candidate Steve Sisolak endorsed by Barack Obama". Las Vegas Review-Journal. 2018-08-31. Retrieved 2018-10-10.
  50. ^ "Biden backs Democrat Sisolak in close Nevada governor's race". AP News. 2018-10-10. Retrieved 2018-10-20.
  51. ^ "Titus lends support for Sisolak in his latest television ad". Retrieved 2018-10-10.
  52. ^ "2018 Endorsements". Sierra Club. 2017-12-07. Retrieved 2018-10-10.
  53. ^ Campaign, Human Rights. "HRC Endorses Steve Sisolak for Nevada Governor | Human Rights Campaign". Human Rights Campaign. Retrieved 2018-10-10.
  54. ^ "Steve Sisolak - Let America Vote". Let America Vote. Retrieved 2018-10-10.
  55. ^ "LVPPA and Law Enforcement Coalition of Nevada Endorse Steve Sisolak for Nevada Governor - Las Vegas Police Protective Association". Las Vegas Police Protective Association. 2017-09-13. Retrieved 2018-10-10.
  56. ^ "Governor-Elect Steve Sisolak Engaged". 10 November 2018. Retrieved 13 November 2018.
  57. ^ "Governor-elect Steve Sisolak marries Kathy Ong". 28 December 2018. Retrieved 29 December 2018.
  58. ^ "County approves airport land swap". Las Vegas Sun. Retrieved 2018-11-16.
  59. ^ "County to pay $31 million to settle lawsuits in airspace restriction cases". Las Vegas Review-Journal. 2009-01-05. Retrieved 2018-11-16.

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Bruce Woodbury
Member of the Clark County Commission
from District A

Succeeded by
Michael Naft
Preceded by
Susan Brager
Vice Chair of the Clark County Commission
Succeeded by
Larry Brown
Chair of the Clark County Commission
Succeeded by
Marilyn Kirkpatrick
Preceded by
Brian Sandoval
Governor of Nevada
Party political offices
Preceded by
Bob Goodman
Democratic nominee for Governor of Nevada
Most recent
U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Mike Pence
as Vice President
Order of Precedence of the United States
Within Nevada
Succeeded by
Mayor of city
in which event is held
Succeeded by
Otherwise Nancy Pelosi
as Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Jim Justice
as Governor of West Virginia
Order of Precedence of the United States
Outside Nevada
Succeeded by
Pete Ricketts
as Governor of Nebraska