CARSON CITY — State Sen. Debbie Smith announced Tuesday that she has been diagnosed with an operable brain tumor.
She is being treated at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, where she is scheduled to have surgery Friday.
It wasn’t immediately clear how soon she will be able to return to the Legislature, which opened its 2015 session Monday and runs through June 1. But she said she will be back as soon as her doctors give her permission.
Smith said she would like to thank everyone for the outpouring of love and support she and her family have received in the past few days.
A press release from state Senate Democrats asked well-wishers “to respect the privacy of Sen. Smith and her family at this time.”
Gov. Brian Sandoval offered his best wishes.
“Sen. Smith is a devoted public servant and has earned the respect of her colleagues on both sides of the aisle. She is a courageous woman whose spirit and strength should inspire us all. I ask all Nevadans to join me in keeping Sen. Smith in our thoughts and prayers as she makes strides toward a full recovery,” he said.
Smith, D-Sparks, is a longtime state lawmaker respected for her work on issues ranging from education to the state budget. She is a strong voice for Northern Nevada.
Smith could be an important vote in getting Gov. Brian Sandoval’s revenue and education funding proposals through the Legislature.
She is a member of the state Senate Finance Committee, and also serves on the Health and Human Services and Natural Resources committees.
Smith was elected to the state Senate in 2012 and is assistant minority leader. Before being elected to the state Senate, she served four terms in the Assembly.
Smith previously issued a statement that she would be unable to attend the opening of the session, citing her medical condition.
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