Midterm Election Has Large Impact on State Legislature - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Midterm Election Has Large Impact on State Legislature

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Perhaps, the biggest surprise from Tuesday's midterm election was the Republicans taking control of the Assembly. The Nevada Legislature met less than two months ago, for the Special Session, to bring Tesla Motors to the Silver State. But when they meet again, the Assembly will be red for the first time since 1985.

"Two months ago, I would've just laughed at that," Eric Herzik, Professor of Political Science at the University of Nevada said. "A month out, I said, 'Well, they could win three to five.' When the early vote totals came in, I was like, 'They could pick up seven.' They ended up with ten."

Republicans outnumber Democrats, 25 to 17, in the Assembly. In the Senate, they have an 11 to 10 majority, after one of the lowest voter turnouts in Nevada history.

"This is a temporary situation and this is not really a true reflection of what Nevadans feel about their state and where they think that they want their state to go," Assemblyman David Bobzien, (D) District 24 said.

The Republican vote determined many races but the GOP victories also reflect a national trend.

"With President Obama having such low ratings as President of the United States, and it continues to go down, people are just getting very discouraged with the policies that the Democratic party keeps trying to pass on us," Senator Don Gustavson, (R) District 14 said.

Governor Brian Sandoval won his re-election by 47 percentage points, tying the largest margin of victory in state history. It is the first time since 1929 that Republicans have held the governor's office, and both houses of the Legislature.

"We didn't have a big top of the ticket," Senator Debbie Smith, (D) District 13 said. "There wasn't a lot motivating Democrats to get out. I think the Republicans were more motivated on other issues."

Democrats and Republicans say they plan on working together to balance the state budget and improve quality of education and infrastructure.

"We don't know what the economic forecast will be in December," Assemblyman Randy Kirner, (R) District 26 said. "Certainly, the governor has suggested we need to rethink how we fund education, and perhaps, I think that's a good thought."

Now that the Republicans have control, the question is what they will do with it and whether this election will impact voters, in 2016. 

The 78th Legislative Session begins February 2, 2015.
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