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Ex-cop, lawyer hopes to protect conservative values during first term

RENO — For many, the career path leading to Nevada’s “citizens’ legislature” is anything but clear cut. Cop-turned-lawyer-turned-Assemblyman Toby Yurek is no exception.

Yurek, who represents Assembly District 19, studied for the ministry before serving two decades with the Henderson Police Department. He later got a law degree and is now a managing partner at the GGRM Law Firm.

Despite his varied background, the political newcomer said the upcoming session is still “unnerving.”

“I’ve been able to do a lot to kind of prepare myself, but even so, it’s a little unnerving to go into this without being experienced,” Yurek said. “But I am very excited as well. So slightly nervous about what I don’t know, but very excited at what I have learned so far.”

While settling into the new role representing the northeastern portion of Clark County, Yurek said he’s been pleasantly surprised by how helpful people have been.

“What surprised me is the number of folks and truly how smart a lot of these people are on these policy issues and how willing they are to meet with me to talk with me to share their perspectives on these issues. That’s been a very pleasant surprise,” he said.

He also applauded the Legislative Counsel Bureau, who he said has been “extremely professional.”

As for his goals for the upcoming session, Yurek said he has to be “realistic.”

“I understand that being in the super minority as a member of the Republican caucus, I have to tame my own ambitions, so to speak,” he said. “That doesn’t mean that I won’t try to still promote my conservative values, but I recognize that I am going to have to work and honestly, I think we get better legislation anyway. But I have to work with my Democratic colleagues to think of how I would want to say this to protect some of our conservative values, especially in my district.”

The first term legislator didn’t offer specifics on bill proposals, but said he hopes to “to build relationships in respect and trust with members of the Legislature that will help in future years.”

And it seems like achieving that goal is already off to a good start.

“I’ve been pleasantly surprised as I’ve met with a number of the folks, particularly on the other side of the aisle. That are genuine, they really want to talk through the issues,” he said.

Yurek will serve on the Assembly Committees on Commerce and Labor, Judiciary and Natural Resources.

Contact Taylor R. Avery at TAvery@reviewjournal.com. Follow @travery98 on Twitter.

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