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Washoe County Commission picks former state lawmaker Brower to fill Raggio’s senate seat


By Sean Whaley, Nevada News Bureau: The Washoe County Commission today selected former state Assemblyman and U.S. Attorney Greg Brower to replace retired GOP state Sen. Bill Raggio in the 2011 session of the Nevada Legislature.

Brower, the first applicant interviewed for the remaining two years of Raggio’s term in Washoe District 3, said he was seeking the seat purely as a public service. Brower said he agrees with GOP Gov. Brian Sandoval that the upcoming two-year state general fund budget must be balanced with existing revenue.

“The governor is right,” he said. “We can, we must balance the budget without raising taxes.”

Brower was selected after the commission performed a dozen interviews in a public meeting in Reno. Candidates, who also included former state Treasurer Patty Cafferata and former Tax Commission Chairwoman Barbara Smith Campbell, were interviewed in alphabetical order.

Brower served in the state Assembly for two terms in 1999 and 2001. He lost re-election to Sharron Angle.

Candidates had to live in the district and be Republican.

Brower was the unanimous selection of the four commissioners who voted. Commissioner Bonnie Weber had to recuse herself because her husband, small businessman Michael Weber, sought the appointment.

Raggio announced earlier this month he was stepping down after 38 years in the state Senate due to mobility problems. Raggio had served as the leader of the Senate Republican Caucus for decades before being replaced as minority leader for the 2011 session after endorsing U.S. Sen. Harry Reid’s re-election bid. Reid is a Democrat.

Raggio did not suggest a replacement, saying only he would like to see the commission appoint someone who is willing to work with Democrats in solving the huge budget crisis facing the state.

The Washoe County Republican Party had endorsed Brower and Cafferata.

Brower is currently a partner in the Snell & Wilmer law firm. His practice is focused on complex civil and white collar criminal litigation, as well as corporate investigations and administrative law.

Brower joined the firm in 2009 after approximately two years as the U.S. attorney for the District of Nevada. As Nevada’s chief federal law enforcement officer, he supervised all federal criminal prosecutions and all civil litigation involving the United States in Nevada.

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