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Rural Nevada lawmaker Goicoechea retains GOP Assembly leadership post


By Nevada News Bureau Staff: Rural Nevada lawmaker Pete Goicoechea was elected as minority leader today by the 16-member Assembly Republican caucus.

Goicoechea, R-Eureka, will continue in the leadership position he assumed when Assemblywoman Heidi Gansert, R-Reno, stepped down. Gansert did not run for re-election to the Assembly. She was named yesterday to Gov.-elect Brian Sandoval’s transition team.

“I am honored to have the support of the Republican caucus as we enter the 2011 legislative session,” Goicoechea said. “I’m excited as our members are stepping forward and preparing to lead in the coming months and make a firm stand in the Legislature for small, effective government.

“We look forward to working with Gov.-Elect Sandoval, our colleagues in the Senate, and the Democrats in the Assembly in the coming months,” he said.

Assemblyman Lynn Stewart was elected assistant leader. Assemblymen Mark Sherwood and Tom Grady were elected whips.

Assemblyman John Hambrick, R-Las Vegas, also sought the leadership position.

“I had hoped for another outcome, but Pete is a good man,” Hambrick said. “He is an upfront individual. I am supporting him 100 percent. We will be unified going into session.”

Assembly Republicans picked up two seats in the Tuesday general election, giving them 16 members and enough to take away the two-thirds veto-proof majority held by Democrats in 2009. It was the first gain for the caucus since 2002.

Nine members of the caucus are newly elected.

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