Cancela resigns from state Senate to join Biden administration

mkay
Joe Biden and Yvanna Cancela in a July 2019 event for Biden's presidential campaign in Las Vegas. Cancela was the first high-profile Nevada Democrat to endorse Biden's candidacy. (Photo: Jeniffer Solis)
mkay
Joe Biden and Yvanna Cancela in a July 2019 event for Biden’s presidential campaign in Las Vegas. Cancela was the first high-profile Nevada Democrat to endorse Biden’s candidacy. (Photo: Jeniffer Solis)

State Sen. Yvanna Cancela, an early endorser of President-elect Joe Biden, announced she is stepping down as a legislator to join the incoming administration. 

First reported by The Nevada Independent, Cancela is joining the Department of Health and Human Services. 

“I did not make this decision lightly, especially considering the upcoming 2021 legislative session and the important work ahead. However, I could not turn down the opportunity to continue serving the Silver State and our great nation,” Cancela wrote in her resignation letter.

Cancela was appointed in 2016 to fill the District 10 seat after former U.S. Rep. Ruben Kihuen won his election. She was elected to the seat in 2018.

In a statement, Gov. Steve Sisolak touted Cancela’s legislation improving health care and drug pricing transparency as well as her work on behalf of immigrant communities. 

“There is no doubt that Nevada will benefit from having a leader who understands the challenges states face as we navigate this pandemic and continue working toward expanding access to healthcare,” Sisolak said. “On behalf of the State of Nevada, we thank Senator Cancela for her service and look forward to working with her to navigate these great challenges.”

Cancela was slated to chair the Natural Resources committee and vice chair the Labor and Commerce committee in the upcoming session.

The Clark County Commission will appoint a successor to Senate District 10.

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.