EDITOR'S NOTE: With more new legislators than ever before, Nevada will have some of its freshest political faces coping with the state's greatest problems. In an occasional series, the Las Vegas Review-Journal introduces the newly elected lawmakers who are about to take office in Carson City.
CARSON CITY -- Newly elected Assemblyman Pete Livermore, R-Carson City, can remember the names and addresses of businesses and people along the mail route he worked nearly 50 years ago.
He also still receives calls and e-mail from the hundreds of young people he employed in his three A&W restaurants during a 34-year career as a businessman.
"I once knew everybody in this town," Livermore said. "I have been very fortunate. It is such a great place. I have been able to accomplish a lot of things because of Carson City. I could not have wished for a better place to live."
So it wasn't much of a surprise to locals in November that their former letter carrier and king of root beer was elected to represent them.
Livermore had served 12 years on the Carson City Board of Supervisors and was prevented by term limits from seeking another term.
When longtime Assemblywoman Bonnie Parnell, D-Carson City, decided against running for another term, Livermore ran for her seat.
He is excited about being one of 20 freshmen legislators. His experience as a local government representative, including heading the Carson-Tahoe Regional Hospital Board of Trustees, should help him in serving on the Assembly Government Affairs, Taxation and Health and Human Services committees, he hopes.
He noted that several other freshmen have been county commissioners and their experience will be an advantage in a session when many new legislators must learn the ropes.
"I'm optimistic, despite the economy," he said. "We have good days ahead. I believe the new governor will be true to his word and not try to raise taxes. There will be people who say we should appropriate $2 billion or $3 billion in taxes. New taxes are not the way to stimulate the economy."
Livermore didn't get involved in politics until he had been in Carson City for more than 15 years. He joined the Marines right out of high school in New Orleans and was stationed at Pickle Meadows Mountain Warfare Training Facility, south of Carson City. While there, he met his future wife, who was a waitress.
He remembers his daughters back in 1978 wanted to play softball and there were no facilities in Carson City for girls to use. He became president of the Bobby Sox program and began pushing city authorities for more and better sports venues for children. It took time and a voter-approved bond issue.
But Carson City added softball and soccer fields, a swimming complex, a shooting range and better city parks. A road to one of the sports complexes bears Livermore's name.
"I didn't do it by myself," said Livermore, who is still president of Carson City sports programs.
Unfortunately, his daughters had outgrown softball by the time improved facilities were available. But his grandchildren had a chance to play on the fields.
Livermore believes he was elected because voters knew him as a businessman and a father and his efforts to improve the community.
"I take a common sense, independent approach. I believe they trust me and I want to continue to earn their trust. If a constituent calls, I will be in contact and try to solve their problem. They always will hear from me."
Contact reporter Ed Vogel at firstname.lastname@example.org or 775-687-3901.