CARSON CITY -- Assembly Republicans on Thursday elected Assemblyman Pete Goicoechea as minority leader for the 2011 legislative session.
Goicoechea, 61, of Eureka, has been serving as minority leader since the summer when Minority Leader Heidi Gansert of Reno stepped down after deciding against seeking re-election.
Assemblyman John Hambrick of Las Vegas made an unsuccessful bid for the minority leader's position Thursday, but fell short.
"I got some votes, he got more votes," Hambrick said. "Pete is a good guy. There will be no hard feelings. There are too many problems facing the state to get into petty politics."
Goicoechea has been a legislator since 2003 and served as the Assembly minority whip in the 2007 and 2009 sessions.
Republicans gained two seats in Tuesday's election. Democrats still hold a 26-16 lead in the Assembly.
"I'm excited as our members are stepping forward and preparing to lead in the coming months and make a firm stand in the Legislature for small, effective government," said Goicoechea, who has a Basque heritage.
Assemblyman Lynn Stewart of Henderson was re-elected assistant minority leader.
Assemblymen Mark Sherwood of Henderson and Tom Grady of Yerington were elected whips.
Sherwood is one of eight new Republican Assembly members.
Contact Capital Bureau Chief Ed Vogel at email@example.com or 775-687-3901.