The two candidates running in the Democratic primary for state Senate District 12 would like to see more jobs stay in Nevada.
Julie Pazina, who works with trade shows coming to Las Vegas, and Clark County School District Trustee Lisa Guzman are competing for the seat. District 12 covers southeastern areas of the county including Mesquite, Laughlin, Boulder City and parts of Henderson.
Pazina is the national director of sales for Edlen Electrical and said, if elected, she wants to help diversify Southern Nevada’s job force to avoid the economic devastation caused by the pandemic when the tourism industry crumbled.
Pazina said she would like to support jobs in renewable energy and help protect small businesses. She saw possibility in workforce development training.
“Coming from the tourism industry as the former president of the Las Vegas Hospitality Association and watching the devastation that hit the industry, I was eager to help,” she said. “What programs would most benefit from workforce development, what careers are out there and how do we train people for them?”
The west Henderson resident has lived in the valley since 2013. She previously helped canvass for state Senate Majority Leader Nicole Cannizzaro, D-Las Vegas, and worked with former state Sen. Joyce Woodhouse on legislation to help diagnose and treat childhood cancers.
Guzman is a former member of the National Education Association who taught teachers about union benefits. She previously worked as an elementary teacher in big cities and rural areas throughout Arizona.
Now Guzman is hoping to see teachers retained and recruited to the school district through a welcoming city, which would include sustainable living conditions for middle-income families.
“I know how to ensure that when legislation comes down it does go to trustees,” she said. “We’re not retaining educators because we’re not paying them, but it’s much more than that. We don’t have affordable housing for our educators”
Guzman said she wasn’t inclined to provide more funding to the school district’s budget just yet, because she wanted to see where the money was going that was approved during the last legislative session, which included cannabis and mining taxes.
“Right now what we really needed to do is figure out how the money comes to education and ensure all the voter-funded money that comes to education is not taken out at the back end,” she said.
Two Republicans running for the seat — April Arndt and Cherlyn Arrington — declined to be interviewed by the Review-Journal. The district’s former representative, state Sen. Joe Hardy, is term-limited and running for mayor of Boulder City.