Mark Lipparelli called favorite for Nevada Senate appointment

Former Nevada Gaming Control Board Chairman Mark Lipparelli is the leading candidate to replace Sen. Mark Hutchison, R-Las Vegas, as Clark County commissioners on Tuesday set a Dec. 2 date to fill the District 6 vacancy created after Hutchison was elected lieutenant governor two weeks ago.

Since the county started taking applications on Nov. 7, only two qualified applicants have formally applied: attorney Brian Hardy, who is director of the law firm of Marquis Aurbach Coffing; and Glenn Trowbridge, a retired director of the county Parks and Recreational Department.

But Lipparelli plans to apply for the Senate seat before a Dec. 1 deadline. Incoming Senate Majority Leader Mike Roberson, R-Las Vegas, backs Lipparelli, as does GOP Gov. Brian Sandoval, according to several sources.

“Mr. Lipparelli is going to put in an application and Sen. Roberson supports him,” Jodi Stephens, executive director of the Senate GOP Caucus, confirmed Tuesday.

Several potential candidates decided not to apply for the Hutchison seat after Lipparelli’s candidacy became known, including Assemblyman Wes Duncan, R-Las Vegas.

Chris Collins, executive director of the Las Vegas Police Protective Association, said he decided Monday not to apply, citing family reasons. The union official was considered a frontrunner by the Democrat-controlled commission, which must appoint a Republican to fill the seat in the Senate, now controlled by the GOP 11 seats to 10.

“I made my decision last night that I would not seek the seat,” Collins said in an interview. “It just wasn’t the right time for my family.”

County officials discussed the plans to fill the seat briefly Tuesday, without delving into individual applicants..

The deadline to apply was Nov. 28. However, because the county government building is closed on the day after Thanksgiving, the county will accept in-person applications only until noon on Dec. 1 — the following Monday.

County Manager Don Burnette said the timing will allow the new legislator to participate in training. New lawmakers have three training sessions; one has already occurred.

In the Nov. 4 election, Republicans gained control of the Senate and the Assembly and swept the six state constitutional offices, putting the GOP in charge of the Legislature and the top government posts for the first time since 1929.

Applicants must live within the district, in the northwest area of the Las Vegas metropolitan area, including north of Summerlin Parkway. The new senator will serve out Hutchison’s Senate term, which expires in 2016.

Potential applicants can find out if they live in District 6 by visiting the state’s legislative website at www.leg.state.nv.us/App/Legislator/A/Senate/Current/6#district.

An address search on the county website can be made at http://gisgate.co.clark.nv.us/openweb/.

Contact Ben Botkin at bbotkin@reviewjournal.com or 702-405-9781. Find him on Twitter: @BenBotkin1. Reporter Howard Stutz contributed to this story. Contact Laura Myers at lmyers@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2919. Find her on Twitter: @lmyerslvrj.