In inaugural address, Lombardo calls on Nevadans ‘to rise above’ polarization

By: - January 3, 2023 2:18 pm

Gov. Joe Lombardo did not elaborate on legislative priorities, which is not unusual for such events. He is scheduled to give his state of the state address on Jan. 23. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

In his first public address as Nevada’s 31st governor, Joe Lombardo said his priorities are to expand school choice, create safer streets by eliminating soft-on-crime legislation, and reenergize economic and workforce development.

Gov. Lombardo, a Republican, made his comments Tuesday at the Carson City Community Center as part of an inaugural address after taking his oath of office.

The career cop, who most recently served as Clark County sheriff before unseating first-term Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak in the 2022 midterm elections, will be working with a state legislature still firmly controlled by Democrats. On Tuesday, Lombardo urged those lawmakers “to do this together.”

“I accept that there are political divisions between some of us,” he said. “I realize, too, that in some places we are needlessly polarized. For everyone, I say we can either surrender ourselves to it or we can strive to rise above it by acknowledging we all have a responsibility to the future.”

Nevadans in November split their statewide tickets. Republicans Stavros Anthony and Andy Matthews were elected as lieutenant governor and state controller. Democrats Aaron Ford and Zach Conine were reelected to their seats as attorney general and state treasurer, and Democrat Cisco Aguilar was elected secretary of state.

Those constitutional officers, as well as Nevada’s new appellate judges and supreme court justices, also took their oaths of office at Tuesday’s ceremony.

Lombardo in his inaugural address also promised “no new taxes.”

He did not elaborate on that promise or his legislative priorities, which is not unusual for such events. Lombardo is scheduled to give his state of the state address on Jan. 23 and will, at some point before the legislative session begins on Feb. 6, release his proposed biennium budget.

Lombardo unveiled a mantra for his administration: “The Nevada Way,” which he described as “rooted in the notion that no challenge is so insurmountable that it cannot be solved.”

Lombardo thanked his predecessor for his service and for a smooth transition between the administrations. Sisolak was one of five former governors in attendance for the ceremonial event. Former Govs. Bob List, Richard Bryan, Bob Miller and Brian Sandoval were also there. (Jim Gibbons, the state’s only other living governor, was not.)

Lombardo was officially sworn in on Monday, as required by the state constitution, but because Monday was a federal holiday, the ceremonial event was held the following day. It was originally set to be held at the Nevada State Capital but was moved due to weather concerns.

Northern Nevada over the weekend was hit by a severe storm that brought record-breaking levels of precipitation to the Reno area.

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April Corbin Girnus
April Corbin Girnus

April Corbin Girnus is an award-winning journalist with a decade of media experience. A stickler about municipal boundary lines, April enjoys teaching people about unincorporated Clark County. She grew up in Sunrise Manor and currently resides in Paradise with her husband, three children and one mutt.