Heller chooses state director

Sen. Dean Heller is naming Ashley Carrigan as his state director, a key post as he continues to fill out staff in Washington and in the state, aides confirmed.

Carrigan has been with Heller, a Republican and former U.S. House member, since 2009 as district director overseeing his operations in Reno, Las Vegas and Elko. She will continue to be based in Reno, Heller spokesman Stewart Bybee said. A director for Southern Nevada has not yet been hired, he said.

Before joining Heller’s staff, Carrigan worked in the Department of Interior as head liaison for intergovernmental and exterior affairs. She also directed the state of Nevada office in Washington during the tenure of former Gov. Kenny Guinn.

Carrigan, a native of Sparks, is the daughter of city councilman Mike Carrigan. She graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno in 1999 with a degree in international affairs and political science.

It has been a drawn-out transition for Heller, who took office May 9 as the appointed replacement for Sen. John Ensign, who resigned.

Heller’s staff now occupies Senate offices in the Bruce Thompson Federal Building in Reno and the Lloyd George Federal Building in Las Vegas, although they share those spaces at present with Ensign holdovers.

Senate rules gave Ensign staff 60 days to close down his operations, which Bybee said could be completed by early next month.

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