Stephens to serve as governor’s legislative director

CARSON CITY — Hawthorne native Jodi Stephens was named Wednesday by Gov. Jim Gibbons to be his legislative director, a position in which she will serve as the administration’s chief lobbyist at the 2009 Legislature.

Stephens, 34, has been Gibbons’ rural director since he became governor in January 2007 and earlier worked for four years for the governor when he served in Congress. She will earn $100,000 a year in the position.

During the 2007 Legislature, she was Gibbon’s primary legislative negotiator on his school empowerment program. That proposal was approved but never was implemented because Gibbons was forced by the economic downturn to cut state spending by $914 million.

Stephens is becoming his top legislative lobbyist at a time when state spending is expected to drop even more unless there is a sudden turnaround in the economy.

“Jodi is a tremendous asset to my staff,” Gibbons said. “She was successful as the steward of my primary education initiative during the last legislative session, and I’m confident she’ll do well next year, too.”

A graduate of Mineral High School in Hawthorne, Stephens holds bachelor’s degrees in secondary education and political science from the University of Nevada, Reno.

“I will be working diligently to forward the governor’s agenda and reach a consensus with lawmakers on some of the most important issues facing Nevada today,” Stephens said in a prepared statement.

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