Pazina eyes keeping more doctors in Nevada
State Sen. Julie Pazina, a newly elected lawmaker from Henderson, hopes to work on economic development and addressing the health care shortage during her first term.
Updated January 27, 2023 - 9:41 pm
RENO — After losing by just 24 votes in 2018, newly elected state Sen. Julie Pazina wasn’t sure if she wanted to run for office again.
“It’s a very personal thing running for office,” Pazina said. “I think in some ways, it’s harder for a woman because I was called fat and ugly and things that I did not see my male counterpart necessarily have to face. So, you know, running is hard. And it’s hard for your family.”
But then came a global pandemic. A former president of the Las Vegas Hospitality Association and member of the Nevada Commission on Tourism, Pazina said watching the “devastating” impacts of COVID-19 convinced her to run again.
“It made me more determined to bring our voice and representation from the tourism and business events industry into the Legislature,” she said.
And this time she won, clinching victory for the state Senate District 12 seat over her Republican opponent by more than 2,300 votes.
“I feel really honored to have this opportunity,” said Pazina, the national director of sales for Edlen Electrical. “I think it made me appreciate this opportunity so much more than if I would have been fortunate enough to win in 2018.”
Since her win, Pazina said it’s been a challenge to juggle her day job and the pace of new legislator training. Part of that training includes legislators introducing what are known as bill draft requests, or proposed bill ideas whose language has yet to be solidified.
Pazina said her bill draft requests have focused on issues she centered her campaign around, including economic development, accessible and affordable healthcare and providing better education for children.
Her “most ambitious” bill idea, however, is focused on increasing the number of residencies and fellowships available to newly-graduated doctors and health care providers.
“That’s really what we’re after: to ensure that we have more medical providers and that we’re creating more specialty residencies and fellowships as well so when Nevadans are looking for health care, they’re not having long waits and the challenges finding providers,” she said.
Pazina said she’s excited to bring her background in the business community to the Senate Democratic Caucus.
“I’m looking forward to bringing my background in tourism, hospitality, business events, and business to the caucus, she said.
Pazina, who formerly served on the board of the Nevada Conservation League, will chair the Senate Committee on Natural Resources. She will also serve on the Commerce and Labor and Growth and Infrastructure committees.
Senate District 12 covers parts of southern Las Vegas and a portion of Henderson. Boulder City Mayor Joe Hardy vacated the seat after being term-limited.
Pazina will be formally sworn into office on Feb. 6, the first day of the 2023 legislative session.
A previous version of this story incorrectly identified which cities are represented by Senate District 12.
Contact Taylor R. Avery at TAvery@reviewjournal.com. Follow @travery98 on Twitter.