Undercurrent

Atkinson picked to lead state Senate Democrats

By: - November 8, 2018 11:58 am
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State Senate Majority Leader Kelvin Atkinson.

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State Senate Majority Leader Kelvin Atkinson.

Days after the 2018 midterm elections, the Nevada Senate Democratic Caucus announced state Sen. Kelvin Atkinson was unanimously elected as its next majority leader.

Atkinson, who was elected to the Assembly in 2002, became the first openly gay African American to serve in the Nevada legislature when he came out in 2013.

He inherits the position from state Sen. Aaron Ford, who won his bid Tuesday to become Nevada’s first African-American Attorney General — he is the first black candidate to serve as Majority Leader and now he is the first to win a statewide office.

Assemblyman Jason Frierson serves as the Assembly Speaker — he too was the first African American to hold that position.

Democrats hold a 13 to 8 majority over Republicans in the Senate, and a 29 to 13 majority in the Assembly.

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Michael Lyle
Michael Lyle

Michael Lyle (MJ to some) has been a journalist in Las Vegas for eight years.  He started his career at View Neighborhood News, the community edition of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. During his seven years with the R-J, he won several first place awards from the Nevada Press Association and was named its 2011 Journalist of Merit. He left the paper in 2017 and spent a year as a freelance journalist accumulating bylines anywhere from The Washington Post to Desert Companion. While he covers a range of topics from homelessness to the criminal justice system, he gravitates toward stories about race relations and LGBTQ issues. Born and mostly raised in Las Vegas, Lyle graduated from UNLV with a degree in Journalism and Media Studies. He is currently working on his master's in Communications through an online program at Syracuse University. In his spare time, Lyle cooks through Ina Garten recipes in hopes of one day becoming the successor to the Barefoot Contessa throne. When he isn’t cooking (or eating), he also enjoys reading, running and re-watching episodes of “Parks and Recreation.” He is also in the process of learning kickboxing.

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