Brian Sandoval

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Brian Sandoval
Brian Sandoval Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic.jpg
Governor of Nevada
In office
January 3, 2011 - Present
Years in position 4
Base salary$141,000
Elections and appointments
First electedNovember 6, 2010
Next generalNovember 4, 2014
Term limitsN/A
Bachelor'sUniversity of Nevada, Reno (1996)
J.D.The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law
Date of birthAugust 5, 1963
Place of birthRedding, California
ReligionRoman Catholicism
Office website
Personal website
Brian Edward Sandoval (born August 5, 1963) is the current Republican Governor of Nevada and a former judge of the United States District Court for the District of Nevada.[1] Prior to his service as a federal judge, he served as the Nevada Attorney General, the youngest chairman of the Nevada Gaming Commission and a state legislator. Sandoval was also the first Hispanic candidate elected to statewide office in Nevada.[1]

Sandoval intends to run for re-election as governor in the 2014 elections.


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.

In August 2012, he was included in a list of 20 Latino political rising stars compiled by the San Francisco Chronicle.[2]


  • The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, JD, 1989
  • University of Nevada, B.A., 1986
  • Bishop Manogue High School, 1981

Political career

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.

2012 Public Officials of the Year

In 2012, Sandoval was named one of Governings top 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. These officials can be elected or appointed, and come from a pool of nominations submitted by public or private sector individuals throughout the year.[3]

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.[4] 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.[5]

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.[6]

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. Democrat 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 has proposed eliminating the $3 million a year in general fund state support for the courts operating in Clark and Washoe counties and Carson City. County officials would have to pick up the costs to continue the programs.[7]

Judge of the District Court for the District of Nevada (2005-2009)

Sandoval was appointed to the United States District Court for the District of Nevada by President George W. Bush on October 26, 2005. He served on the court until September 15, 2009.

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, Nevada|Las Vegas, who Sandoval defeated by a margin of 58.32% to 33.63% on November 5, 2002.[8] 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.


Presidential preference


See also: Endorsements by state officials of presidential candidates in the 2012 election

Brian Sandoval endorsed Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election. [9] He had previously endorsed Rick Perry.[10]



See also: Nevada gubernatorial election, 2014

Sandoval is running for a second term as governor in the 2014 elections.[11] The general election will take place on November 4, 2014.


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.[12]

  • General Election - 2010 Gubernatorial Race
Governor of Nevada, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Rory Reid 41.6% 298,171
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngBrian Sandoval 53.4% 382,350
     Green David Scott Curtis 0.6% 4,437
     Libertarian Arthur Forrest Lampitt 0.7% 4,672
     Independent Eugene DiSimone 0.9% 6,403
     Independent Aaron Y. Honig 0.4% 3,216
     Independent Floyd Fitzgibbons 0.7% 5,049
     NA None 1.7% 12,231
Total Votes 716,529

Governor of Nevada, 2010
Candidate Vote % Votes
Tony Atwood 1.4% 2,440
Jim Gibbons Incumbent 27.2% 47,616
Stanleigh Harold Lusak 0.8% 1,380
Michael L. Montandon 12.6% 22,003
Green check mark transparent.pngBrian Sandoval 55.5% 97,201
None 2.5% 4,400
Total Votes 175,040

Campaign donors

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.[14] Click [show] for more information.


On October 19, 2012, Governing Magazine named Sandoval one 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, started in 1991, "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.[15][16]

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."


He and his wife, Kathleen, have three children.

See also

External links

Suggest a link


  1. 1.0 1.1 Nevada Office of Governor "About the Governor" Accessed November 1, 2012
  2. San Francisco Chronicle "20 Latino political rising stars of 2012 (with PHOTO GALLERY)," August 25, 2012
  3. Governing, "2012 Public Officials of the Year:Brian Sandoval The Helmsman," December 1, 2012
  4. Stateline, "Seizing Medicaid Expansion as a Means to Reform," February 12, 2013
  5. The Las Vegas Review-Journal, "Sandoval supports Medicaid expansion," December 13, 2012
  6. "Gov.-elect Sandoval: No new taxes or fee hikes in Nevada," Nevada News Bureau, December 23, 2010
  7. "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
  8. "Election Summary". Official 2002 General Election Results. Nevada Secretary of State. Retrieved on 2009-09-20. 
  9. Las Vegas Review-Journal, "Sandoval, Heller endorse Romney," April 11, 2012
  10. The Weekly Standard, "Sandoval Endorses Perry," September 13, 2011
  11. Las Vegas Sun, "Sandoval kicks off re-election bid with State of the State, budget," January 16, 2013
  12. "Sandoval announces bid for governor's job" Las Vegas Review-Journal
  13. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named nvprim
  14. Follow the, "Home," accessed February 17, 2015
  15. Governing, "GOVERNING Announces 2012 Public Officials of the Year," October 19, 2013
  16. Dylan Scott, Governing, "The Helmsman: Brian Sandoval," 2012
Political offices
Preceded by
Jim Gibbons (R)
Governor of Nevada
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Nevada Attorney General
Succeeded by
George Chanos (R)
Preceded by
Nevada State Assembly
Succeeded by