|29th Governor of Nevada|
January 3, 2011 - January 7, 2019
|Chair of the National Governors Association|
July 16, 2017 - July 21, 2018
|Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Nevada|
October 26, 2005 - September 15, 2009
|George W. Bush|
|Howard D. McKibben|
|30th Attorney General of Nevada|
January 6, 2003 - October 26, 2005
|Frankie Sue Del Papa|
|Chair of the Nevada Gaming Commission|
April 28, 1999 - August 1, 2001
|Member of the Nevada Gaming Commission|
April 23, 1998 - August 1, 2001
|Member of the Nevada Assembly|
from the 25th district
January 3, 1994 - April 23, 1998
Brian Edward Sandoval
August 5, 1963
Redding, California, U.S.
(m. 1990; div. 2018)
Lauralyn McCarthy (m. 2018)
|Children||3 (from previous marriage)|
|Education||University of Nevada, Reno (BA)|
Ohio State University (JD)
Brian Edward Sandoval (; born August 5, 1963) is an American politician and former attorney who served as the 29th Governor of Nevada from 2011 to 2019. A member of the Republican Party, Sandoval is a former United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Nevada.
On June 9, 2010, he defeated incumbent Governor Jim Gibbons to win the Republican nomination for the 2010 gubernatorial election. Prior to his service as a federal judge, he served as the 30th Attorney General of Nevada, the youngest chairman of the Gaming Commission of Nevada and a state legislator. Sandoval was also the first Hispanic candidate elected to statewide office in Nevada.
Sandoval was born in Redding, California, to Ron Sandoval, an FAA maintenance supervisor, and his wife Gloria (Gallegos) Sandoval, a legal secretary. A long-time resident of Reno, Sandoval is of Mexican ancestry. Sandoval attended Reno's Little Flower School  and graduated from Bishop Manogue High School in Reno in 1981, and attended the University of Nevada, Reno, where he was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity, and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and economics in 1986. He then went on to earn a Juris Doctor from the Ohio State University Moritz College of Law in 1989.
When incumbent Republican Jim Gibbons decided to retire to run for Governor of Nevada in 1994, Sandoval ran for the Reno-based 25th District of the Nevada Assembly. He won the open seat and won re-election in 1996. After he resigned from his seat in 1998, Gibbons' wife Dawn Gibbons, won the open seat.
Sandoval sponsored 14 bills that became law--including some that prevented felons from suing victims if they are injured committing a crime, increased the penalties for operating a boat under the influence, and allowed indigent defendants to perform community service to defray their legal costs.
Sandoval served on the Judiciary, Taxation and Natural Resources Committees. He also served on the Nevada Legislative Commission, the Advisory Commission on Sentencing, the Juvenile Justice Commission, the Advisory Council on Community Notification of Sex Offenders, and the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency Oversight Committee.
In 1998, Sandoval was appointed to serve as a member of the Gaming Commission of Nevada, which oversees the state's gaming industry. The following year, at the age of 35, Sandoval became the youngest person ever to serve as chairman of the gaming commission. During his time on the commission, Sandoval fought national efforts to block gambling on college sports events, worked on regulations limiting neighborhood gaming and worked for regulations prohibiting slot machines with themes attractive to children.
Sandoval announced his bid on October 11, 2001 to succeed three-term Democrat Frankie Sue Del Papa who was not eligible to run for re-election as Attorney General of Nevada due to lifetime term limits established by the Nevada Constitution in 1996. His primary major party opposition was Democratic attorney John Hunt from Las Vegas, whom Sandoval defeated by a margin of 58.32% to 33.63% on November 5, 2002. Sandoval took office on January 6, 2003.
While Attorney General, Sandoval led the state's legal fight against the storage of nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain, developed Nevada's first Public Integrity Unit and sponsored legislation strengthening Nevada's laws against domestic violence, drug abuse and human trafficking.
As attorney general, Sandoval was also the chairman and a member of several state boards and commissions, including the Nevada Boards of Pardons, Prisons, Transportation, and Examiners; the Cyber-Crime Task Force; the Committee on Domestic Violence, and the Prosecutorial Advisory Council.
In the fall of 2004, Democratic Senator Harry Reid spoke with Sandoval about whether he was interested in serving as a judge for the United States District Court for the District of Nevada, and that December Reid recommended to President George W. Bush that he nominate Sandoval to a future opening on that court. Sandoval was formally nominated by Bush on March 1, 2005, to the seat being vacated by Judge Howard D. McKibben.
On September 29, 2005, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a confirmation hearing on Sandoval's nomination. On October 20, 2005, the Judiciary committee reported Sandoval's nomination out of committee on a voice vote. Sandoval was unanimously confirmed by the Senate on October 24, 2005, by a vote of 89-0 (with 11 Senators not voting). Sandoval then received his judicial commission on October 26, 2005.
Sandoval announced his resignation as Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Nevada on August 15, 2009 to become effective beginning September 15, 2009. On the same day as his resignation became official, Sandoval announced he was running for the Governorship. Sandoval's chambers were in the Bruce R. Thompson Courthouse and Federal Building in Reno.
In the general election, Sandoval won 53%-41%, against Democrat Rory Reid, the Clark County Commissioner and son of U.S. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid. He won every county in the state, and all with a majority except Clark County, where Las Vegas is the county seat, which Mr. Sandoval won with a plurality (49%-47%).
Sandoval, as the state's 29th Governor, proposed a $5.8 billion 2011 budget without any new taxes. It could cause as many as 361 layoffs and 5% pay reductions for state workers. It also included a 5% cut in primary education and 7% cut in higher education. Sandoval is turning down his pay raise that would have increased his salary from $141,000 to $149,573 per year. He also has said he will take a 5% pay cut to coincide with every other state worker's.
The final budget for 2011 avoided deep cuts to education and human services programs. It contained a number of reforms that include ending teacher tenure as well as the practice of deciding layoffs based solely on teacher seniority, allowing local governments to re-open employee contracts during financial emergencies as well as barring collective bargaining by supervisors, and eliminating retirement health insurance for new state employees hired after January 1, 2012.
On September 11, 2014, Sandoval signed a package of bill to provide $1.3 billion in tax breaks and subsidies over 20 years for Tesla Motors in exchange for building the massive Gigafactory 1 battery factory in the state, near Reno. The factory is key to Nevada's efforts to revitalize its economy, which was hard-hit by the mortgage meltdown and the Great Recession, and has yet to fully recover. In June 2015, Sandoval signed several bills designed to overhaul Nevada's education system. The reforms substantially increased funding for public schools and grants, and created incentives to recruit more teachers and promote professional training. $10 million were appropriated for preschool programs and an expansion of full-day kindergarten across Nevada.
Sandoval is widely regarded as a moderate Republican, supporting abortion rights, Obamacare, immigration reform, and renewable energy.
On July 12, 2016, Sandoval launched a comprehensive review of Nevada's juvenile justice system and established the Statewide Juvenile Justice Improvement Task Force. Nevada was selected to receive technical assistance from The Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center through a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. Following the launch, the CSG Justice Center conducted an analysis of the state's juvenile justice system and made recommendations to the task force based on its assessment.
On May 17, 2017, Sandoval signed Senate Bill 201, which would ban mental health professionals from performing sexual conversion therapy on minors under the age of 18.
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Sandoval came under criticism in 2015 by the rooftop solar industry in Nevada after claims that the Governor failed to act on a statewide net energy metering cap of 235MW. The cap stirred controversy due to its ability to negatively affect the future of the largely successful solar industry in Nevada, specifically related to the loss of thousands of in-state jobs. A statewide study conducted by the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada previously deemed net metering a benefit to all ratepayers.
At the end of July 2015, NV Energy proposed new rates for rooftop solar users. NV Energy specifically states in its proposal that the new rates could eliminate all savings for solar customers.
On August 20, 2015, the controversial 235 MW net metering cap was hit. Immediately before the cap was hit, Vivint Solar pulled out of the state only two weeks after entering. This resulted in lay-offs of many recently hired Nevadans, signaling the future of the industry in Nevada without net metering.
An October 2015 poll, sponsored by the solar industry, found that prior to learning about these controversies, public perception of Governor Sandoval's leadership was largely favorable, with 63% of likely voters agreeing that he has been a strong leader for Nevada. However, after learning that Governor Sandoval had failed to "take a leadership position and protect the 6,000 jobs that solar energy supports in Nevada" his favorable impressions became highly negative, with 54% of likely voters taking an unfavorable view. A subsequent poll of likely Republican primary voters in New Hampshire found that 56% of all likely Republican primary voters in a key swing state would not vote for Governor Sandoval for vice president in 2016 upon learning that he failed to protect solar energy in Nevada.
In December 2015, a solar company operating in Nevada filed a lawsuit against Governor Brian Sandoval to compel the release of public records the Governor's office withheld. The withheld public records included text messages between the Governor and his staff with NV Energy's lobbyists. The company claims that the public has the right to know the impact those relationships have had on critical policy decisions, including the rooftop solar debate.
On December 22, 2015, Governor Sandoval's Public Utilities Commission of Nevada, composed of Chairman Paul Thomsen, Commissioner David Noble and Commissioner Alaina Burtenshaw, voted to eliminate the state's net metering policy for rooftop solar. The aftermath of the decision resulted in widespread layoffs in the state and an outpouring of consumer backlash due to the direct penalization of current and future solar customers.
Sandoval has received the following awards and certificates: the Hispanics in Politics' 1996 "Broche de Oro Award"; the Anti-Defamation League's 2003 "Torch of Liberty Award;" the Nevada State Bar's 2004 "Access to Justice Public Lawyer Award;" The Latino Coalition's 2004 "Most Influential Hispanic in the U.S. Award"; and the 2004 University of Nevada "Alumnus of the Year Award."
Sandoval married Kathleen Teipner in 1990. Along with Kathleen, the program director for the Children's Cabinet in Reno, Sandoval has three children. He and his wife announced their separation in 2017 and finalized their divorce in 2018, stating the demands of public life as the main reason. Sandoval remarried to Las Vegas gaming executive Lauralyn McCarthy on August 11, 2018.
|Nevada's 25th Assembly District Republican Primary Election, 1994|
|Nevada's 25th Assembly District Election, 1994|
|Nevada's 25th Assembly District Election, 1996|
|Republican||Brian Sandoval (inc.)||12,513||100.00|
|Republican||Jim Gibbons (inc.)||47,616||27.2|
|Republican||None of These Candidates||4,400||2.5|
|None of These Candidates||None of These Candidates||12,231||1.71%||-1.85%|
|Libertarian||Arthur Forest Lampitt Jr.||4,672||0.65%|
|Green||David Scott Curtis||4,437||0.62%||-0.54%|
|Independent||Aaron Y. Honig||3,216||0.45%|
|Republican||None of These Candidates||3,509||2.98|
|Republican||Brian Sandoval (inc.)||386,340||70.58%|
|None of These Candidates||None of These Candidates||15,751||2.88%|
|David Lory VanDerBeek||14,536||2.66%|
| Member of the Nevada Assembly
from the 25th district
| Member of the Nevada Gaming Commission
| Chair of the Nevada Gaming Commission|
Frankie Sue Del Papa
| Attorney General of Nevada
Howard D. McKibben
|Party political offices|
| Republican nominee for Governor of Nevada
| Governor of Nevada
| Chair of the National Governors Association