Sandoval ready to take office as inauguration ceremonies loom

CARSON CITY — The temperature probably will be in the upper 20s, and there could be a lot of snow on the Capitol grounds, but Brian Sandoval is downright sunny about Monday.

He will be sworn in as the state’s 30th governor in front of the Capitol by Nevada Chief Justice Michael Douglas.

"I have a favorite overcoat," Sandoval said Thursday. "I’ve had it since my days in the Legislature, and I may need it on Monday. It’s going to be a fine day. If it’s too cold, we just will move the inauguration indoors."

Sandoval has been an assemblyman, chairman of the state Gaming Commission, attorney general, a federal judge and at age 47 will become the state’s first Hispanic governor.

He grew up a fan of history, someone who loved reading about Abraham Lincoln; but he said he never imagined he would become governor of Nevada.

His isn’t going to be a gloomy administration, one that accentuates the negative, but one where everyone works hard and has a goal of returning Nevada to prosperity, he said.

"I’m optimistic," Sandoval said. "Nevada’s best days are ahead. I am passionate about Nevada."

He said he already is seeing positive results. He spoke Thursday with a business­man in another state who has agreed to move his company to the Reno area, but won’t announce the company’s name just yet. He predicts many more businesses will be moving to Nevada.

Every day when he reports to work in the governor’s office, Sandoval said he will set aside time to call business owners in other states about relocating to Nevada.

His inaugural address, which he wrote with the assistance of senior adviser Dale Erquiaga, won’t last much longer than 10 minutes. The speech will be carried live on many television stations, and can be viewed on the state’s website.

Sandoval said all of the 25 people he has appointed to head state agencies and serve in key posts in his administration also are passionate about Nevada. That was one of his requirements.

Only seven of his appointees have Southern Nevada backgrounds.

That doesn’t mean that Southern Nevada will be ignored, he said. He spent most of his gubernatorial campaign in Las Vegas and intends to spend a considerable amount of time there as governor. He noted that as attorney general and as a federal judge, he spent a lot of time in Southern Nevada.

Sandoval is a religious man, a devout Catholic who attends Mass and prays regularly for guidance.

"Faith for me is a personal thing. I go to church every Sunday. I sometimes (while a judge in Reno) would sneak away and go to 12:15 p.m. services. My faith is important to me."

His wife and three children are Lutheran. Early in their marriage, the couple decided to raise the children as Lutheran.

Before he is inaugurated Monday, Sandoval and his family will attend a 9 a.m. special Mass at St. Teresa of Avila Catholic Church in Carson City. The public is welcome to attend, although the priest does not want photographs taken in the church. Services will end about 10 a.m.

Sandoval is firm on what he will not tolerate in the coming year. Increasing taxes would be the worst thing a governor could do at a time when un­employment is 14.3 percent and state government faces at least a $1 billion revenue shortfall, he said.

"It is no mystery," Sandoval said. "There will be salary cuts. Budgets will be reduced."

But he said he will take the same cuts as any other state worker, as will members of his staff. He said he will return 4.6 percent of his $141,000 annual salary to the state. That is equivalent to the one unpaid furlough day per month that most state employees now are required to take.

It also will reduce his salary to about $133,000, or nearly $40,000 a year less than he earned as a federal judge, the lifetime appointment he gave up 15 months ago to make a run for governor.

While he won’t discuss his budget now, Sandoval said it will not include his controversial proposal to sell state buildings for a large sum of money and then lease them back by making mortgage payments for 20 years.

But he said he will talk with legislators, unlike Gov. Jim Gibbons, who would make political statements and seldom follow them up by meeting with lawmakers.

Sandoval, a Republican, said he already has met with state Senate Majority Leader Steven Horsford and Assembly Speaker John Oceguera, both D-Las Vegas, and intends to meet regularly with them and other legislators.

"I am going to listen," he said. "It is what I did as a judge. You listen and then you make the decision."

His first state dinner will be for legislators at the Governor’s Mansion only a few hours after he is sworn into office.

Family members are coming from New Mexico, Oregon, and other states to watch the inauguration. His wife, Kathleen, and children, James, 15, Maddie, 14, and Marissa, 6, will be at his side on the podium.

Sandoval said he cried at Christmas after reading a letter written to him by Maddie in which she described how proud she was of her father.

Marissa really doesn’t understand what being governor means, but she is fully aware "that a lot of people want to talk to me when we go shopping at the supermarket."

Former Govs. Robert List, Richard Bryan and Bob Miller have accepted invitations to attend the inauguration.

Gibbons won’t be there. He has a medical procedure scheduled for Monday. Gibbons suffered a broken pelvis when thrown from a horse on Sept. 21.

Sandoval said he has not spoken with the governor since a debate in May. He defeated the incumbent governor by a 2-to-1 margin in the June primary.

"I think there will be a time when we can talk," Sandoval said. "Right now he is still recovering from his accident."

The Sandoval family won’t move into the mansion until after the inauguration. They are moving from their Reno home with their four dogs, cats and a frog, but won’t be accompanied by their pet rat Bolt.

Bolt, age 3, died unexpectedly on Christmas Day. Sandoval and his wife hurriedly disposed of the rat’s body before Marissa could see him.

"He had a good life," Sandoval said. "I used to feed him pistachios."

Sandoval grew up on a small farm outside of Sparks, raising lambs and chickens. His parents instilled in him the value of hard work and gave him his faith. He hasn’t forgotten their lessons.

"What you will get in him is honesty, I am sure of that," said Ron Sandoval, a former state Senate sergeant of arms who is the new governor’s father.

Contact Capital Bureau Chief Ed Vogel at or 775-687-3901.

Mount Charleston Gets Heavy Snow, Fog
Mount Charleston saw heavy snow today, and fog in lower elevations as a cold front swept across the Las Vegas Valley. (Benjamin Hager/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Krystal Whipple arrested in Arizona
Krystal Whipple, charged in the killing of a Las Vegas nail salon manager over a $35 manicure, is expected to return to Nevada to face a murder charge.
Holocaust survivor on acceptance
Holocaust survivor Celina Karp Biniaz, who was the youngest person on Schindler’s List, talks about the most important message for people to understand from her life and experiences.
Holocaust survivor speaks about telling her story
Holocaust survivor Celina Karp Biniaz, who was the youngest person on Schindler’s List, tells of opening up about her experiences during Sunday’s event at Temple Sinai.
Jesus Jara State of the Schools address
Clark County School District Superintendent Jesus Jara delivers his State of the Schools address on Friday, Jan. 11, 2019. (Amelia Pak-Harvey/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Michael Naft sworn in to Clark County Commission
Michael Naft, chosen by Gov. Steve Sisolak to be his replacement on the Clark County Commission, was sworn into office on Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2019. (Shea Johnson/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES Opening Party in Omnia Nightclub at Caesars Palace
CES conventioneers packed Omnia Nightclub at Caesars Palace, and let loose as they danced to DJs into the night. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Las Vegas police piecing together details of fatal shooting
Six hours after the fact, Las Vegas homicide detectives worked to reconstruct the scene of a shooting early Jan. 7 that left one man dead in the southeast valley. (Rio Lacanlale/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Dyer Lawrence explains college football playoff system proposal
Las Vegan Dyer Lawrence has a new idea for a college football playoff system that includes a unique scheduling component called National Call Out Day. (Ron Kantowski/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Death row inmate Scott Dozier found dead in his cell
Nevada death row inmate Scott Dozier is dead. Dozier’s death ends his legal odyssey, which began in 2007 when he was convicted in the 2002 murder of Jeremiah Miller, but does little to clarify what’s next for Nevada’s death penalty.
I-15 southbound near Primm closed after ‘major crash’
A rollover crash Saturday morning involving at least nine vehicles on southbound Interstate 15 near Primm caused an hourslong traffic delay. Traffic was backed up to Sloan, live traffic cameras show. (Rio Lacanlale/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Death Valley visitors deal with shutdown
Visitors staying at the Furnace Creek Campground were forced to move from the campground following health and safety concerns due to lack of resources during the partial government shutdown at Death Valley National Park in Calif., on Friday, Jan. 4, 2019. Richard Brian Las Vegas Review-Journal @vegasphotograph
Half of homicides in Henderson for 2018 domestic violence related
Lt. Kirk Moore of the public information office of the city of Henderson police department speaks to the Review-Journal in Henderson, Thursday, Jan. 3, 2019. Henderson saw a slight increase in homicides in the past year. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Governor-elect Steve Sisolak stops by Las Vegas Boys and Girls Club
Governor-elect Steve Sisolak kicks off his tour to Carson City, which will take him from Las Vegas, through Tonopah, and up to the capital city. First stop is the Downtown Boys & Girls Club.
Certificates for renewing wedding vows in Clark County
The Marriage License Bureau in Clark County began issuing a Certificate of Vow Renewal to married couples who are renewing their wedding vows on Jan. 3, 2019. (Shea Johnson/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas flu season better than last year (so far)
Dr. Fermin Leguen, chief medical officer and director of clinical services at the Southern Nevada Health District, said there were 24 flu-related deaths at this point in the flu season. No deaths have been reported so far this year. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
The Las Vegas Valley’s First Baby of 2019
The first 2019 baby in the Las Vegas Valley was Melialani Chihiro Manning, born at 12:10 a.m. at Henderson Hospital. (Briana Erickson/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas NYE Fireworks - VIDEO
The full show: A spectacular view from the rooftop of the Trump International Hotel as 80,000 pyrotechnics illuminated the Las Vegas Strip at the stroke of midnight. Fireworks by Grucci choreographed launches from the Stratosphere, the Venetian, Treasure Island, Caesars Palace, Planet Hollywood, Aria and MGM Grand.
Snow in Henderson on New Year's Eve morning
Light snow flurries in Anthem Highlands in Henderson on Monday morning, the last day of 2018.
Sources: Henderson Constable may face more charges
Henderson Constable Earl Mitchell may face additional charges ... stemming from his spending of county funds, sources said. Mitchell was indicted earlier this month on five felony theft and fraud charges ... after a Las Vegas Review-Journal story questioned his spending. But grand jury records show even more extensive spending including ... an $800 dinner at steakhouse ... nearly 200 atm withdrawals mostly at gambling establishments ... and even Disneyland tickets. But his attorney plans to ask a judge to dismiss the charges.
Las Vegas NYE Restrictions and Enhanced Security
If you are planning to celebrate New Year's Eve on the Las Vegas Strip or Fremont Street, be aware that you are not allowed to bring backpacks, coolers, strollers or glass. There will also be an increase in security to ensure safe celebrations across town.
Catholic Charities serves up 53rd annual Christmas dinner
Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada and more than 100 volunteers served 1,000 Christmas meals to Southern Nevada's homeless and less fortunate. (K.M. Cannon Las Vegas Review-Journal @kmcannonphoto)
Henderson couple adds another school to their generosity
Bob and Sandy Ellis of Henderson, who donate to several Clark County School District schools, have added Matt Kelly Elementary in Las Vegas to their list of schools where every student gets new shoes, socks and a toy. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Jeffrey Martin Added To Nevada's Black Book
Martin was one of four men convicted of theft and cheating at gambling in 2016 in Clark County District Court and sentenced to prison. The Nevada Gaming Commission voted unanimously Thursday to include Martin in the black book.
Raiders Stadium Timelapse
Construction on the new Raiders stadium continues in Las Vegas.
Buffalo Wild Wings security video
Security footage from a Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant in southwest Las Vegas captured a driver who repeatedly crashed into a vehicle in a failed attempt to squeeze into a tight parking spot.
The Magical Forest at Opportunity Village
Opportunity Village's Magical Forest added 1 million lights and a synchronized music show visible from all over the forest this year. The holiday attraction, which began in 1991, has a train, rides, food and entertainment along with the light displays. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Navigating the new I-515 southbound to 215 Beltway ramp configuration
After opening at 5 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2018, the new Interstate 515 southbound to the 215 Beltway westbound freeway ramp configuration caused confusion amongst motorist. Here’s how to navigate the new ramp. (Mick Akers/ Las Vegas Review-Journal).
A record breaking donation of nearly $9 million to Girls Scouts of Southern Nevada
A record breaking donation of property valued at nearly $9 million was made to the Girls Scouts of Southern Nevada by the Charles and Phyllis M. Frias Charitable Trust. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal. @bizutesfaye
Kerry Clasby thanks the community for support after California fire damage
Intuitive Forager Kerry Clasby talks about the lessons of accepting help as she has gone through the Woolsey Fire disaster, in which she lost many of her belongings. About 100 people were on hand for an event that raised about $7,000.
News Headlines
Local Spotlight
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like