CARSON CITY — On Wednesday, the 80th day of the 120-day 2013 legislative session, Assemblyman Tyrone Thompson was sworn into office, officially ending the sad saga of Steven Brooks.
Thompson, 45, a Democrat, replaced Brooks, whom the Assembly removed from office after a series of bizarre incidents and arrests.
The new District 17 assemblyman took Brooks’ seat on the Assembly floor and introduced members of his family who had arrived to witness the swearing-in ceremony conducted by Justice Mark Gibbons.
“I am gonna be ready,” Thompson said after his first Assembly floor session. “It is a surreal moment. Time to snap out of it. We have a lot of work to do.”
He noted that the deadline for passing bills out of their house of origin passed Tuesday, so now the Assembly is hearing all of the Senate bills and the Senate all of the Assembly bills. That means he will not be at a disadvantage, he believes, because all Assembly members will be hearing the Senate bills for the first time, too.
Brooks on March 28 became the first legislator in state history to be removed from office. He was involved in a series of events that caused people to question his mental stability.
His problems started Jan. 19 on allegations he threatened Assembly Speaker Marilyn Kirkpatrick, D-North Las Vegas, because she had denied him the committee chairmanship he sought, followed by a domestic violence arrest involving his wife in February.
Hours after he was removed from office, he was arrested after a clash with police on Interstate 15 near Barstow, Calif.
As a member of the Health and Human Services Committee, Thompson said he is interested in the hearings on Gov. Brian Sandoval’s plan to expand the Medicaid program.
“We are going to have to decide how to make it work. There are jobs that will come out of it, well over 400 jobs. We have to open more offices.”
Thompson said he has been receiving email and telephone calls from constituents, who have been without representation in the Assembly since Brooks left Carson City on the third day of the session.
Thompson said he is particularly interested in funding higher education and public schools properly, reducing class sizes and expanding full-day kindergarten.
Thompson will serve on the Judiciary; Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Mining; Health and Human Services; and Legislative Operations and Elections committees.
“Assemblyman Thompson is a great addition to the Democratic caucus and the Legislature as a whole,” Kirkpatrick said. “Tyrone’s life experiences make him uniquely qualified to serve the people of District 17, and I look forward to his contributions to the Legislature this session.”
Thompson was born and raised in North Las Vegas, leaving only when he went to college.
He was selected unanimously last week by the Clark County Commission to represent the North Las Vegas district. He arrived in Carson City last week for freshman training.
Thompson is the regional initiatives coordinator for the Southern Nevada Regional Planning Coalition. His focus there is on preventing, addressing and ending homelessness in Southern Nevada.
Asked whether he would seek the District 17 seat in the November 2014 election, Thompson said he would wait and see.
Contact Capital Bureau Chief Ed Vogel at email@example.com or 775-687-3901. Contact Capital Bureau reporter Sean Whaley at swhaley@ reviewjournal.com or 775-687-3900.