Gov. Joe Lombardo speaks at Mountain View Christian School in May 2023 in Las Vegas. (Bizuayehu ...

Nevada governor’s first few months in office were packed

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Schools. Oakland A’s. Mining companies. Formula 1. Those are some of the organizations and entities Gov. Joe Lombardo met with during his first few months in office.

Although perhaps not all of the first-term Republican governor’s activities are included, his calendar from January to May 7, obtained by the Review-Journal, reflects his priorities in the early stages of his administration.

The first official meeting for Lombardo, who has billed himself as Nevada’s next “education governor,” was with the Nevada Association of Superintendents, according to his calendar. He visited several schools during his first few months in office, met with higher education presidents, including UNLV President Keith Whitfield and Nevada State College President DeRionne Pollard, and has held multiple discussions with staff regarding his education bills in the state Legislature.

The Oakland Athletics’ potential move to Las Vegas has been on the radar of the governor’s office since former Gov. Steve Sisolak was in office. Lombardo’s calendar showed several meetings and presentations regarding the Oakland A’s — or potentially soon-to-be Las Vegas A’s.

On Feb. 2, he had a virtual meeting discussing the A’s, and a one-hour discussion about the A’s on Feb. 14, although details of the meeting were redacted. On April 17, he met with John Fisher, the owner of the Oakland A’s, and Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred.

In March 2022, Las Vegas got the green light for Formula 1 racing, which is slated for November 2023 and is expected to be one of Las Vegas’ biggest events this year.

Lombardo has met on several occasions with his staff and organizers of the event to gear up for it. On Jan. 24, he sat in on a presentation regarding Formula 1, and on April 13 he toured the Las Vegas Grand Prix paddock building. He also attended Formula 1 in Miami on the weekend of May 6, according to his calendar.

He’s also met with notable politicians and figureheads in his first few months, including Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who recently announced his presidential bid, and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

Bills and meetings

Although Lombardo and the Legislature are currently playing a game of tug of war with proposed bills — with Lombardo refusing to sign budget-related bills until the Legislature agrees to address his legislative priorities — the first few months of his term show an effort to hear from the other side.

In addition to weekly breakfasts with Democratic Assembly Speaker Steve Yeager and Senate Majority Leader Nicole Cannizzaro, Lombardo has had one-on-one meetings with several other Democrats, including state Sens. Melanie Scheible, Dina Neal, Edgar Flores, Assemblywoman Michelle Gorelow, and Secretary of State Cisco Aguilar.

David Damore, professor and chair of the political science department at UNLV, said this is what one would expect to see, “a governor meeting with representatives of interest who want his support for their legislation or who can help move his agenda forward.”

Lombardo has also met with the casino and gaming industry, as well as energy companies. Representatives from mining companies also scheduled meetings with the governor, including those from Barrick Gold, Orla Mining and Ioneer, which is behind a lithium-boron mining project in Esmeralda County. He also toured the Coeur Rochester Mine in April in Rochester, Nev.

He has also shown his support for the second amendment in the first few months as governor. On Jan. 18, Lombardo attended the SHOT Show, a shooting, hunting and outdoor trade show, at The Venetian. On April 7, he toured Armscor Precision Inc., a firearms manufacturing company, in Pahrump.

Lombardo attended many dinners in his first few months in office as well, like the Churchill County Republican Central Committee’s Lincoln Day Dinner, the Nevada Donor Network Awards Appreciation Dinner and the Ghost Army Exhibition Gala Dinner, which was for an exhibit at the Nevada Museum of Art.

“Governor Lombardo has spent his first four months in office advancing his popular policy priorities, meeting with constituents and advocates from across the state, and working to deliver his day one agenda items for Nevada families – and he’s just getting started,” said Elizabeth Ray, spokesperson for Lombardo’s office, in an emailed statement to the Review-Journal.

When asked for a comment about Lombardo’s first few months in office, Nevada State Democratic Party Spokesperson Mallory Payne said he is “proving he’s an-out-of touch politician who caves to his base instead of working for all Nevadans,” citing his veto of gun safety legislation and his refusal to sign budget bills until the Legislature includes his priorities.

Contact Jessica Hill at Follow @jess_hillyeah on Twitter.

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