Assemblywoman April Mastroluca abruptly resigned her seat Thursday, citing "personal family reasons."
The Democrat from Henderson had just won re-election to a third term on Nov. 6.
She said she had been talking with her family for a few weeks and decided it was best to resign before the legislative session starts Feb. 4.
"This is a very difficult decision to make," Mastroluca said in a telephone interview. "But it's important for me to put my family and my family's needs first. It's been an honor to serve for the past few years."
Mastroluca is married with two children, a 19-year-old daughter and a 17-year-old son.
She said she told Assembly Speaker Marilyn Kirkpatrick, D-North Las Vegas, on Thursday afternoon that she planned to resign.
Mastroluca said she will send a formal letter to Gov. Brian Sandoval today .
Kirkpatrick was sympathetic, saying it's unfortunate that Mastroluca had to leave the Assembly.
"It's a tough decision, but I want what's best for April and her family," Kirkpatrick said in an interview, adding she hopes Mastroluca could return to serve in the Nevada Legislature again.
The Clark County Commission will appoint a replacement for Mastroluca, according to the law.
Kirkpatrick said she hoped to expedite the process and fill the seat by the end of the year.
"We'll work to find somebody who can give up their lives for 120 days," Kirkpatrick said, making a reference to the scheduled length of the biennial session.
"It really is difficult to do on short notice."
Kirkpatrick said that she didn't yet have a replacement in mind and that she would discuss that with Mastroluca.
The Clark County Commission will accept applications from people interested in serving in the Assembly seat.
Kirkpatrick and Mastroluca hoped to get the issue on the agenda as soon as the next commission meeting, which is Tuesday.
But county officials said it was too late because that meeting agenda was posted Thursday morning, in accordance with the state's open meeting law.
The law requires posting agendas three business days before a meeting, and so, "We can't do it in conformance with the state statute," County Manager Don Burnette said.
Besides, the commission would need a list of names of potential replacements.
Replacements would have to live in the district, be a member of the departing member's political party and meet other basic requirements, such as being a registered voter and not being a felon.
After Tuesday, the next Clark County Commission meeting is Dec. 18, but the commission chairwoman could call a special meeting before then.
Mastroluca said all of her focus has been on making her decision, and she had not yet thought about recommending a potential replacement for her to serve in the Assembly.
During the 2011 legislative session, Mastroluca led the Assembly Committee on Health and Human Services.
She also served on the Education and Ways and Means committees, putting her in line for potential leadership roles in those panels.
Mastroluca is a lifetime member of the Nevada Parent Teacher Association.
Review-Journal reporter Lawrence Mower contributed to this report. Contact reporter Laura Myers at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-387-2919. Follow @lmyerslvrj on Twitter.