|Governor of Nevada|
|January 3, 2011 - Present|
|Years in position||4|
|Predecessor||Jim Gibbons (R)|
|Elections and appointments|
|Last election||November 4, 2014|
|First elected||November 6, 2010|
|Term limits||2 terms|
|Judge of the District Court for the District of Nevada|
|Attorney General of Nevada|
|Nevada General Assembly|
|High school||Bishop Manogue High School (1981)|
|Bachelor's||University of Nevada, Reno (1986)|
|J.D.||The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law (1989)|
|Date of birth||August 5, 1963|
|Place of birth||Redding, California|
- 1 Biography
- 2 Political career
- 2.1 Governor of Nevada (2011-Present)
- 2.1.1 2013 Budget
- 2.1.2 Education and Workforce Committee
- 2.1.3 Job creation ranking
- 2.1.4 Legalization of medical marijuana dispensaries
- 2.1.5 Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare")
- 2.1.6 No new taxes or fee hikes
- 2.1.7 Mental health costs and budget 2011-13
- 2.1.8 Popularity
- 2.1.9 Presidential preference
- 2.2 Judge of the District Court for the District of Nevada (2005-2009)
- 2.3 Nevada Attorney General (2003-2005)
- 2.4 Nevada Gaming Commission (1998-2001)
- 2.5 Nevada State Assembly (1994-1998)
- 2.6 On The Issues Vote Match
- 2.1 Governor of Nevada (2011-Present)
- 3 Elections
- 4 Campaign donors
- 5 Personal
- 6 Recent news
- 7 See also
- 8 External links
- 9 References
He is considered a possible presidential candidate in 2016.
When he was elected attorney general in 2002, he became the first Hispanic elected to statewide office in Nevada history. Prior to that, Sandoval was the youngest person ever appointed to serve as chairman of the gaming commission, at age 35.
Sandoval is an attorney, licensed to practice in both California and Nevada. He worked in private practice in the Reno area and eventually opened his own law office.
In August 2012, Sandoval was included in a list of 20 Latino political rising stars compiled by the San Francisco Chronicle.
An analysis of Republican governors by Nate Silver of the New York Times in April 2013 ranked Sandoval as the 29th most conservative governor in the country.
As of April 2015, Nevada is one of 23 Republican state government trifectas.
Brian Sandoval is a native of Redding, California, though he is a long time resident of Reno, where he completed high school. In college, he studied English and economics, as well as joining the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity. After earning his Bachelor's, Sandoval attended law school in Ohio. He was admitted to the bar in both California and Nevada and briefly worked for several Reno area firms before opening his own law office.
- The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, J.D., 1989
- University of Nevada, B.A., 1986
- Bishop Manogue High School, 1981
Governor of Nevada (2011-Present)
Sandoval was first elected Governor of Nevada in 2010 and assumed office on January 3, 2011. As governor, Sandoval is responsible for appointing judges to Nevada state courts. In Nevada, the governor makes a judicial appointment after candidates are recommended by a judicial nominating commission. After the governor appoints a judge, she or he must run for the seat in the next general election. For an up-to-date list of all of Sandoval's appointees, see Judgepedia's page on his appointments.
On June 10, 2013, Sandoval officially signed into law four state budget bills passed during the recently wrapped legislative session. The final budget was very similar to Sandoval's proposed budget. The bills authorized $19 billion in spending over the next two years. The operating budget for the state will constitute $6.6 billion of the spending, including $2.5 billion in K-12 education. This will be the first year education funding has been increased since 2009. Sandoval also authorized the state to conduct an independent study on the cost of the death penalty to taxpayers. In 2014, a 2.5% pay cut for Nevada state employees will be reversed, although the mandatory six furloughed days per year will still be in effect. Another highlight was the approval of a bill to allow the issuing of bonds to the federal government to pay off a debt of around $540 million.
Education and Workforce Committee
In October 2013, Sandoval was appointed Vice Chair of the Education and Workforce Committee in the National Governors Association by NGA Chair Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin and NGA Vice Chair Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper.
Job creation ranking
In a June 2013 analysis by The Business Journals, which ranked 45 of the country's 50 governors by their job creation records, Sandoval was ranked number 27. The five governors omitted from the analysis all assumed office in 2013. The ranking was based on a comparison of the annual private sector growth rate in all 50 states using data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Legalization of medical marijuana dispensaries
On June 12, 2013, Sandoval signed a bill to integrate medical marijuana production and distribution into the Nevada economy under government regulated conditions. Although Nevada was already among the 19 states to allow medical marijuana, since 2000 residents in possession of the appropriate state-issued license could grow their own medical marijuana but had no means to procure it legally on the open market. Card-carrying patients will be permitted to continue growing medicinal pot for personal use until 2016, but, with the passage of SB374, they will also be able to obtain it from dispensaries, the regulation of which will be paid for by tax revenues drawn from different segments of the newly regulated industry.  Sandoval's approval of the measure made Nevada the 19th state in the U.S. (plus the District of Columbia) to legalize marijuana dispensaries.
Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare")
Despite Sandoval's opposition to the Affordable Care Act, the federal health care law passed on March 23, 2010 and upheld by the United States Supreme Court on June 28, 2012, he became the first Republican governor in the country to support Nevada's participation in the Medicaid expansion as outlined under the law. An estimated 604,000 Nevada residents were uninsured as of Dec. 2012, when Sandoval decided to bring a pro-expansion budget proposal to the Nevada Legislature with the intention of entering the state into the federal program. After some initial reluctance to cooperating on any aspect of the controversial law, he concluded that it was in Nevada's "best interest to expand coverage to 78,000 residents" currently ineligible for the state's Medicaid rolls. To encourage the legislature to join him in support of the expansion, Sandoval made the case that participating would save the state $16 million in mental health programs that otherwise would be paid for out of the state general fund. "It would cost the state...more not to opt in," he said.
No new taxes or fee hikes
Before his inauguration as Governor of Nevada, Sandoval's Chief of Staff Heidi Gansert said he would not bring new taxes or fee hikes to the citizens of Nevada. “Given the state of our economy, the governor-elect has decided there will be no new fees or taxes in the budget,” she said. “We don’t want any obstacles to an economic recovery. We want as much money as possible spent in the private sector.”Gansert said Sandoval’s staff was working with Budget Director Andrew Clinger to go through the budget prepared by outgoing Gov. Jim Gibbons to ensure any fee increases included in the plan were eliminated. Robin Reedy, chief of staff to Gibbons, said at the time that a case could be made for seeking fee increases for services provided by the state not fully covered by then-current assessments.
Mental health costs and budget 2011-13
In 2011, Sandoval proposed to transfer the state share of operating the mental health courts to the counties. Democratic lawmakers rejected the proposal in mid-May 2011, meaning the addition of another $6 million hole in the two-year budget, starting July 1, 2011.
The party-line vote by members of the Assembly Ways and Means and Senate Finance committees came after repeated testimony from advocates for the courts since the session began that they would close without continued state support because of the fiscal problems the counties face.
Sandoval proposed eliminating the $3 million a year in general fund state support for the courts operating in Clark and Washoe counties and Carson City. In order to continue the programs county officials had to pick up the costs.
Sandoval won election in 2010, a year when Republicans were trending to the far-right, leading to the election of controversial GOP governors such as Florida's Rick Scott and Wisconsin's Scott Walker. Two years into Sandoval's term, meanwhile, he remained mostly out of the national spotlight due to his pragmatic, low-key approach and willingness to work with both sides of the aisle. With the national Republican Party in rebuilding mode, Sandoval offered an example in contrast to the approach taken by the GOP in recent years.
While that approach has brought his success in Nevada, it is unclear if it could translate to a larger stage. Chuck Muth, president of the Nevada conservative group Citizen Outreach, said of the governor, "He's got a nice smile, a sunny disposition. But that's not something that's going to carry him very far if he ever gets into a competitive primary." Whether or not that is true remains to be seen, but in mid-June 2013 Sandoval did appear in an excellent position to win re-election, with Democrats yet to name a challenger.
Judge of the District Court for the District of Nevada (2005-2009)
On the recommendation of U.S. Senator Harry Reid, Sandoval was nominated by George W. Bush on March 1, 2005, to fill a seat vacated by Howard McKibben. Sandoval was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on October 24, 2005 and received his commission on October 26, 2005.
Federal seat resignation
In what was considered a surprise announcement, Judge Sandoval announced on August 14, 2009, that he would resign from his lifetime seat on the federal bench. His resignation was effective September 15, 2009. Sandoval was succeeded in this position by [[Gloria M. Navarro}}.
Nevada Attorney General (2003-2005)
Sandoval announced his bid to succeed three-term Democrat Frankie Sue Del Papa -- who decided not to seek re-election -- as Nevada Attorney General on October 11, 2001. His primary major party opposition was Democratic attorney John Hunt from Las Vegas, who Sandoval defeated by a margin of 58.32% to 33.63% on November 5, 2002. Sandoval took office on January 6, 2003.
While Attorney General, Sandoval led the state's legal fight against the storage nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain, developed Nevada's first Public Integrity Unit and sponsored legislation strengthening Nevada's laws against domestic violence, drug abuse and human trafficking.
As Attorney General, Sandoval was also the chairman and a member of several state boards and commissions, including the Nevada Boards of Pardons, Prisons, Transportation, and Examiners, the Cyber-Crime Task Force, the Committee on Domestic Violence and the Prosecutorial Advisory Council. He was also the chairman and a member of several state boards and commissions, including the Nevada Boards of Pardons, Prisons, Transportation, and Examiners, the Nevada Cyber-Crime Task Force, and the Prosecutorial Advisory Council.
Nevada Gaming Commission (1998-2001)
In 1998 Sandoval was appointed to serve as a member of the Nevada Gaming Commission, which oversees the state's gaming industry. The following year, at the age of 35, Sandoval became the youngest person ever to serve as chairman of the gaming commission. During his time on the commission, Sandoval fought national efforts to block gambling on college sports events, worked on regulations limiting neighborhood gaming and worked for regulations prohibiting slot machines with themes attractive to children.
Nevada State Assembly (1994-1998)
Sandoval first ran for elected office in 1994, and served two terms in the Nevada Assembly -- representing the 25th legislative district -- from 1994 to 1998. In the Assembly, Sandoval served on the Judiciary, Taxation and Natural Resources Committees and sponsored 14 bills that became law -- including bills that prevented felons from suing victims if they are injured committing a crime, increased the penalties for operating a boat under the influence, and allowed indigent defendants to perform community service to defray their legal costs.
While in the Nevada legislature, Sandoval also served on the Nevada Legislative Commission, the Advisory Commission on Sentencing, the Juvenile Justice Commission, the Advisory Council on Community Notification of Sex Offenders and the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency Oversight Committee.
On The Issues Vote Match
- See also: On The Issues Vote Match
On The Issues conducts a VoteMatch analysis of elected officials based on 20 issue areas. Rather than relying on incumbents to complete the quiz themselves, the VoteMatch analysis is conducted using voting records, statements to the media, debate transcripts or citations from books authored by or about the candidate. Based on the results of the quiz, Sandoval is a Moderate Libertarian Conservative. Sandoval received a score of 42 percent on social issues and 60 percent on economic issues.
The table below contains the results of analysis compiled by staff at On The Issues.
|On The Issues Vote Quiz|
|Economic Issues||Social Issues|
|Legally require hiring women & minorities||Strongly Favors||Abortion is a woman's unrestricted right||Neutral|
|Expand ObamaCare||Strongly Opposes||Comfortable with same-sex marriage||Favors|
|Vouchers for school choice||Strongly Favors||Keep God in the public sphere||Unknown|
|Absolute right to gun ownership||Strongly Favors||Human needs over animal rights||Opposes|
|Higher taxes on the wealthy||Strongly Opposes||Stricter punishment reduces crime||Strongly Favors|
|Support & expand free trade||Unknown||Pathway to citizenship for illegal aliens||Neutral|
|Stricter limits on political campaign funds||Favors||Maintain US sovereignty from UN||Unknown|
|Prioritize green energy||Strongly Favors||Expand the military||Unknown|
|Stimulus better than market-led recovery||Unknown||Stay out of Iran||Unknown|
|Privatize Social Security||Unknown||Never legalize marijuana||Unknown|
|Note: Information last updated: 2014. If you notice the rating has changed, email us.|
Sandoval is considered a possible Republican candidate in 2016.
There is speculation that Sandoval may seek election to the U.S. Senate in 2016 against Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D). Reid responded to the rumors, stating, "I don't care. If Brian wants to run for the Senate, let him."
As of December 2014, Sandoval did not appear to have a timeline in place for his decision. When asked about the potential 2016 Senate bid, he explained, "I’m focused on my job. I really am. No, there’s too much at stake this session to be distracted."
During his State of the State speech in January 2015, Sandoval hinted that he would not run for the U.S. Senate seat in 2016. After working to significantly raise the Business License Fee in order to put more money toward Nevada's education system, Sandoval said in his speech, "Do you really think, if this is my last session as governor, I would propose the things that I proposed last night, thinking I might be on a ballot?"
- See also: Nevada gubernatorial election, 2014
|Governor of Nevada, Republican Primary, 2014|
|Brian Sandoval Incumbent||89.9%||105,857|
|None of these candidates||3%||3,509|
|Election Results via Nevada Secretary of State.|
|Governor of Nevada, 2014|
|Republican||Brian Sandoval Incumbent||70.6%||386,340|
|Independent||None of these candidates||2.9%||15,751|
|Independent American||David Lory VanderBeek||2.7%||14,536|
|Election Results via Nevada Secretary of State.|
- See also: Nevada gubernatorial election, 2010
Sandoval announced his bid to enter the governor's race on August 15, 2009, citing concern about how the state was being run. He ousted incumbent Republican Governor Jim Gibbons in the primary and went on to defeat Rory Reid, son of the U.S. Senate Majority Leader, in the general election.
- General Election - 2010 Gubernatorial Race
|Governor of Nevada, 2010|
|Green||David Scott Curtis||0.6%||4,437|
|Libertarian||Arthur Forrest Lampitt||0.7%||4,672|
|Independent||Aaron Y. Honig||0.4%||3,216|
|Governor of Nevada, 2010|
|Jim Gibbons Incumbent||27.2%||47,616|
|Stanleigh Harold Lusak||0.8%||1,380|
|Michael L. Montandon||12.6%||22,003|
Comprehensive donor information for Sandoval is available dating back to 1994. Based on available campaign finance records, Sandoval raised a total of $8,459,551 during that time period. This information was last updated on May 23, 2013.
Ballotpedia collects information on campaign donors for each year in which a candidate or incumbent is running for election. The following table offers a breakdown of Brian Sandoval's donors each year. Click [show] for more information.
|Brian Sandoval's Campaign Contributions|
Governor of Nevada
|Total Raised by General Election Opponents||$3,057,223 (Dem)|
|Top 5 contributors||Fitzgerald Cantor LP||$40,000|
|International Gaming Technology||$29,500|
|Las Vegas Sands||$20,000|
|R&S Investment Properties||$20,000|
|Farmers Insurance Group||$20,000|
He and his wife, Kathleen, have three children.
On October 19, 2012, Governing Magazine named Sandoval one of 8 "Public Officials of the Year." Each year since 1994, Governing has selected a handful of state and local officials to honor for standout job performance. The Public Officials of the Year program "recognizes leaders from state, city and county government who exemplify the ideals of public service." Other 2012 honorees included co-speakers of the Oregon House of Representatives Bruce Hanna and Arnie Roblan and California Auditor Elaine Howle. Governing commended Sandoval's bipartisanship in working with the Democrat-controlled Nevada Legislature.
Throughout his career, Sandoval has received several awards and certificates, including the Hispanics in Politics' 1996 "Broche de Oro Award," the Anti-Defamation League's 2003 "Torch of Liberty Award," the Nevada State Bar's 2004 "Access to Justice Public Lawyer Award," The Latino Coalition's 2004 "Most Influential Hispanic in the U.S. Award" and the 2004 University of Nevada "Alumnus of the Year Award."
This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the terms "Brian Sandoval Nevada Governor."
- Some of the stories below may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of Google's news search engine.
- Social media:
- Executive actions:
- Financial (state level):
- Interest group ratings:
- Issue positions:
- Public statements:
- Works by or about:
- Media appearances:
- Media coverage:
- Brian Sandoval profile in United States District Court for the District of Nevada's State of the Court 2006 report
- Brian Sandoval '89: Nevada's First Hispanic U.S. District Judge
- Nevada Office of Governor, "About the Governor" accessed November 1, 2012 (dead link) (dead link)
- San Francisco Chronicle, "20 Latino political rising stars of 2012 (with PHOTO GALLERY)," August 25, 2012
- New York Times, "In State Governments, Signs of a Healthier G.O.P.," April 16, 2013
- Daily Journal, "Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval signs bills into law, including final 4 state budget bills," June 11, 2013
- RGJ, "Nevada Gov. Sandoval completes action on all passed bills," June 14, 2013
- CPA Practice Advisor, "Nevada Gov. approves $19 billion two-year budget," June 12, 2013 (dead link)
- RGJ, "Panels vote to restore Nevada state worker pay," May 31, 2013
- NGA News Release NGA Chooses New Committee Leadership, E-mail communication to Kristen Mathews October 23, 2013
- The Business Journals, "Governors and jobs: How governors rank for job creation in their states," June 27, 2013
- The Business Journals, "How state governors rank on their job-growth record," June 27, 2013
- The Washington Post, "Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval signs into law bill allowing medical marijuana dispensaries," June 13, 2013
- RGJ.com, "Medical marijuana dispensary law signed by Nevada governor," June 13, 2013
- National Conference of State Legislatures, "State Medical Marijuana Laws," accessed June 13, 2013
- Stateline, "Seizing Medicaid Expansion as a Means to Reform," February 12, 2013
- The Las Vegas Review-Journal, "Sandoval supports Medicaid expansion," December 13, 2012
- "Gov.-elect Sandoval: No new taxes or fee hikes in Nevada," Nevada News Bureau, December 23, 2010
- "Democrats Oppose Cost Shift of Mental Health Courts To Counties, Open $6 Million Hole In Sandoval Budget," Nevada News Bureau, By Sean Whaley, May 17th, 2011
- FOX News, "Nevada's governor shows Republican strength in states," June 22, 2013
- Las Vegas Review-Journal, "Sandoval, Heller endorse Romney," April 11, 2012
- The Weekly Standard, "Sandoval Endorses Perry," September 13, 2011
- Myers, Dennis (2004-12-02). "Citizen Reid". Reno News & Review. http://www.newsreview.com/reno/content?oid=23692. Retrieved on 2009-08-24.
- "Nominations of John Richard Smoak, of Florida, to be District Judget for the Northern District of Florida; Brian Edward Sandoval, of Nevada, to be District Judge for the District of Nevada; Harry Sandlin Mattice, Jr., of Tennessee, to be District Judge for the Eastern District of Tennessee; Margaret Mary Sweeney, of Virginia, to be a Judge for the United States Court of Federal Claims; and Thomas Craig Wheeler, of Maryland, to be a Judge for the United States Court of Federal Claims". Government Printing Office. 2005-09-29. http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=109_senate_hearings&docid=f:27745.wais. Retrieved on 2009-08-24.
- Senate Judiciary Committee, "Nominations of the 109th Congress," November 8, 2013
- Las Vegas Review Journal "Sandoval to resign from federal court" August 14, 2009
- "Election Summary". Official 2002 General Election Results. Nevada Secretary of State. https://web.archive.org/web/2/http://sos.state.nv.us/elections/results/2002General/ElectionSummary.asp. Retrieved on 2009-09-20.
- On The Issues, "Brian Sandoval Vote Match," accessed June 18, 2014
- The questions in the quiz are broken down into two sections -- social and economic. In social questions, liberals and libertarians agree in choosing the less-government answers, while conservatives and populists agree in choosing the more restrictive answers. For the economic questions, conservatives and libertarians agree in choosing the less-government answers, while liberals and populists agree in choosing the more restrictive answers.
- Reno Gazette-Journal, "Harry Reid: 'I don't care' if Sandoval runs for Senate," August 18, 2014
- The Washington Post, "Sandoval: No timeline on Senate decision," accessed December 9, 2014
- Ralston Reports, "Reid is dead if Sandoval (or anyone) runs, right?," accessed November 24, 2014
- Reno Gazette-Journal, "Ralston: It's time for Sandoval's education plan," accessed January 21, 2015
- Las Vegas Sun, "Sandoval kicks off re-election bid with State of the State, budget," accessed January 16, 2013
- Nebraska Secretary of State, "Silver State Election Night Results," accessed June 10, 2014
- "Sandoval announces bid for governor's job" Las Vegas Review-Journal
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- Follow the Money, "Career fundraising for Brian Sandoval," accessed May 23, 2013
- Follow the Money.org, "Home," accessed February 17, 2015
- Governing, "GOVERNING Announces 2012 Public Officials of the Year," October 19, 2012
- Dylan Scott, Governing, "The Helmsman: Brian Sandoval," 2012
Jim Gibbons (R)
|Governor of Nevada
| Succeeded by|
|District of Nevada
| Succeeded by|
Gloria M. Navarro
|Nevada Attorney General
| Succeeded by|
George Chanos (R)
|Nevada State Assembly
| Succeeded by|
|Magistrate judges||Valerie Cooke • Robert McQuaid, Jr. • George Foley • Peggy Leen • Vincent Ferenbach • Carl Hoffman • William Cobb • Nancy J. Koppe •|
|Former Article III judges||
Alexander White Baldwin • Edgar Winters Hillyer • George Myron Sabin • Thomas Porter Hawley • Edward Silsby Farrington • Edward Reed • Frank Herbert Norcross • Johnnie Rawlinson • Harry Claiborne • Roger Foley • Roger T. Foley • David Hagen • Bruce Thompson (Nevada) • John Rolly Ross • Philip Pro • Brian Sandoval •
|Former Chief judges|
State of Nevada
Carson City (capital)
|State executive officers||
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