weather icon Clear

Aaron Ford setting priorities for his time as Nevada attorney general

Updated November 14, 2018 - 9:05 pm

CARSON CITY — With the election in the rearview mirror, Attorney General-elect Aaron Ford is turning his sights toward bolstering funding for mental health programs and potentially undoing some of his predecessor’s work.

Ford, who defeated Republican Wes Duncan in the Nov. 6 election, said one of the first things he plans to do once in office is make good on his campaign promise to look at the lawsuits that outgoing Attorney General Adam Laxalt signed onto over his four-year term.

“Those weren’t talking points. I intend absolutely to take a strong look at some of the lawsuits that Attorney General Laxalt has joined in and some he has chosen not to join,” Ford told the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Specifically, Ford said he wants to look at lawsuits that deal with health care and abortion laws, but he said he won’t take any action until he’s discussed the cases with Gov.-elect Steve Sisolak.

Beyond analyzing Nevada’s legal involvement in other states’ lawsuits, Ford said he wants to increase lobbying of the state Legislature to raise money for mental health programs. A specific area of need, he said, is mobile outreach support teams, which are aimed at identifying people who would be better served going through mental health programs rather than the criminal justice system.

For Ford, winning the race had greater meaning because he is the first African-American to win election to a statewide executive office in Nevada.

“It means a lot for a kid like me to be able to not only aspire but become attorney general and potentially be an example to others,” he said. “Not just African-American youth but to all youth, that they can get it done.”

Ford, 46, credits his staff, including campaign manager Jessica Adair and political assistant Naomi Gebremariam, for guiding the campaign to the win and overcoming the issues that could have plagued the team, including news stories about unpaid tax liens and a series of arrests in Ford’s youth.

“Not paying for a tire fast enough shouldn’t mean that you aren’t able to do anything for the rest of your life. And I think voters recognized that,” Adair said.

But to get to that victory, Ford knew that race might be an obstacle he’d have to overcome.

Ford said he endured racial attacks throughout the campaign. The day after the election, he said, he received a Facebook message that included profanity and a racial epithet.

He said his victory demonstrated that Nevada at large has embraced diversity in its elected officials. He pointed to the female majority the state now has in its Supreme Court and Assembly, and he cited Congressman-elect Steven Horsford, Assembly Speaker Jason Frierson and Senate Majority Leader Kelvin Atkinson, who are all black, as further examples of that embrace.

“This state has demonstrated that it has the ability to move beyond race,” Ford said. “We are allowing diversity to flourish.”

Contact Colton Lochhead at clochhead@reviewjournal.com or 775-461-3820. Follow @ColtonLochhead on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Politics Videos
Media's Double Standard On Incitement And Trump - Video
Over the weekend, an Elizabeth Warren-supporting socialist who opposed gun violence used a rifle to commit a mass murder in Dayton, Ohio. The media has downplayed that aspect of the tragedy.
Project Our Care Tour Kicks Off In Las Vegas
U.S. Rep. Dina Titus joined health care advocates and local residents as part of Protect Our Care’s nationwide bus tour kick off in Las Vegas on Monday, August 5, 2019. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Bernie Sanders talks about guns, response to El Paso shooting
Sen. Bernie Sanders spoke about his response and continued policy ideas about guns and gun control to the Review-Journal after a panel of other topics. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pete Buttigieg On Gun Control And Climate Change - Video
Pete Buttigieg talks about his campaign for the 2020 election and how Nevada is a vision of what the future can be.
Beto O'Rourke speaks in Las Vegas
Presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke spoke to supporters at the East Las Vegas Community Center in Las Vegas, Thursday, Aug. 2, 2019. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Former Nevada Senate leader Kelvin Atkinson sentenced to prison
Former Nevada Senate Majority Leader Kelvin Atkinson, who pleaded guilty to misusing campaign funds, was sentenced to 27 months in prison on Thursday, July 18, 2019. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Trumps Strength is also a Weakness - Video
One of Donald Trump’s greatest strengths — his ability to shape national narratives — is also a great weakness.
Tax the Rich Bus Tour makes a stop in Las Vegas - Video
The Tax the Rich Bus has stopped in Las Vegas as part of its summer tour. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Assemblywoman Daniele Monroe-Moreno hosts BBQ - Video
Assembly Woman Daniele Monroe-Moreno hosts BBQ to bring the community together to hear about the candidates up for election and for people to gather and have fun.
Democrat Virtual Caucus - Video
Elizabeth Warren visits Las Vegas
Senator Elizabeth Warren made a campaign stop at the East Las Vegas Community Center on Tuesday July 2, 2019. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Aaron Ford Speaks About Bill AB431
AB431 is a bill sponsored by Nevada Assembly Speaker Jason Frierson to restore the right to vote for formerly incarcerated individuals. Attorney General Aaron Ford spoke at the AM&E Church in North Las Vegas about the bill, on Monday, July 1, 2019. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Right Take: Biden's Racially Questionable Comments
Joe Biden has uttered racially charged statements for years. Now that he’s the frontrunner for the Democrat presidential nomination, he may finally face prolonged scrutiny for them.
Christopher Rufo Discusses Homelessness In The USA - VIDEO
Christopher Rufo discusses homelessness in the United States and how politicians can work to improve conditions for those with drug addictions.
Clark County 2019 Election Results - Video
The 2019 Elections wrap up in Clark County including an upset in the Boulder City Mayor race.
Olivia Diaz talks about her win in Ward 3 - VIDEO
Las Vegas City Councilwoman-elect Olivia Diaz talks about her election win in Ward 3 and what lies ahead for her.
Greene discusses Read by 3 and Opportunity Scholarships - VIDEO
The Nevada Legislative Session is over and the results are mixed for Nevada students, according to Tom Greene, Senior regional legislative director, Excel in Ed in Action.
Bernie Sanders visits Las Vegas
Sen. Bernie Sanders made a stop at Roy W. Martin middle school on Thursday, during his campaign trail.