State Assemblywoman Olivia Diaz on Monday announced she will not return to Carson City in 2019 to participate in the upcoming legislative session.
She will run for the Las Vegas City Council next year instead.
Pay for legislators in Nevada is $150.71/day in 2017 for a maximum of 60 days. According to Legislative Council Bureau payroll data from Transparent Nevada 2017 Diaz was paid about $10,500.
Total pay and benefits for councilmembers are about $118,700.00, according to data from Transparent Nevada based off Las Vegas payroll data for 2017.
Diaz will seek the Ward 3 council seat currently held by Bob Coffin, who announced last week he would not be running for reelection.
“I have decided to run for Ward 3’s Las Vegas City Council position because we need a representative in local government who works as hard as the hardworking people of this area and I will be that strong advocate and voice for the needs of all my neighbors,” wrote Diaz on Facebook.
Diaz was first elected to represent District 11 in the Nevada Assembly in 2010. Besides being in the Assembly, Diaz works at an elementary school in Las Vegas.
In Nevada, legislative sessions are biennial, only occurring during odd-numbered years. The Nevada Legislature is one of the only four states that have biennial sessions, the others being Montana, North Dakota and Texas.
The filing window for city council is between Jan. 22 and Feb. 1. The primary election is in April, and the general election is in June.
The off-year timing of municipal elections consistently translates to extremely low voter turnout. But the turnout of candidates is expected to be high — three other candidates have already filed to fill Coffin’s seat, and Coffin told the Review-Journal last week that he expected as many a dozen to candidates to enter the race.
State Assembly Speaker Jason Frierson says Diaz “has been a trailblazer and role model” as one of the first Latinas elected to the Nevada Legislature.
“While I’m sad to see Assemblywoman Diaz leave the legislature, I know that she will never stop fighting for our community and Nevada,” Frierson said in a statement. “I look forward to seeing what’s next for her, and I’m honored to have worked with her these past several years.”
Clark County commissioners will pick her replacement following an application period.