Nevada Governor-elect Steve Sisolak said Thursday that he will announce his replacement to the Clark County Commission early next week after whittling down the candidate list from about a half-dozen finalists.
“I’m pretty close, but I want to notify some of the people that I’m not going to appoint,” Sisolak said. “And I’ll have that out first part of (next) week, right about the swearing-in time.”
Sisolak, who will be inaugurated on Monday in Carson City, declined to say who he will choose to finish out his term. The former commission chairman won election in November, but stayed on board through the end of 2018 in lieu of resigning, enabling him to appoint his successor.
Much of his transition has centered on the slew of staff hires to join him in Carson City, overshadowing talk of his appointee to the commission, a powerful legislative force in Nevada.
Beyond the legal criteria that they live in District A, which he had represented since 2009, and that they’re also a Democrat, Sisolak said it was more important to him that his replacement “care about the district as much as I do.”
“I’m confident we’ve got an individual that’s going to do that,” he said, “and have a good future ahead of them.”
In its first meeting of the year Tuesday, the new-look commission — recently elected Justin Jones and Tick Segerblom will be sworn in — is expected to appoint a chair among existing members to replace Sisolak.
Sisolak broached the subject of his appointment following an afternoon tour of the Boys &Girls Club in downtown Las Vegas, the opening leg of his road trip to Carson City. The three-day itinerary includes stops in Indian Springs, Beatty, Tonopah, Schurz and Yerington, where the governor and his wife Kathy will visit a military base, state prison, brewery and Indian reservation, among other scheduled tours.
“I think it’s important to reach out and have that connection with the community,” Sisolak said when asked to describe his thinking behind the road trip.
Inside the Boys &Girls Club, he was shown by two youth leaders the inner working of the facility, which recently added crisis counseling, before sitting down with the future first lady to answer questions from the 60 children who frequent the after-school hangout. In between, he lost a game of foosball to youth leader Jose de Dios Mendoza.
“I think people sell our youth short a lot,” Sisolak said following the question-and-answer portion of the tour. But the governor-elect added that he was impressed after meeting with the kids and hopeful for their future.
He also lauded the club — one of 13 in southern Nevada, according to marketing director Paula Pettit — for its ability to provide a safe place for students after school and in summer, many of whom he said might otherwise have nowhere else to go.
Sisolak responds to children’s questions
On school safety: “Schools are a place that you should be able to go to learn and not have to worry about gun violence.”
On lacking school supplies: “We’re going to do what we can to get more money into the classrooms.”
On wage increases: “We’re going to hopefully be able to raise the minimum wage a little bit.”
On homelessness: “If you stay in school, you’ll be able to get a good job, so that you’ll be able to support yourself and your family.”