Nevada Assembly Welcomes its Newest Member
Assemblyman Greg Smith took the oath of office, Wednesday, becoming Nevada's newest lawmaker.
Assemblyman Greg Smith took the oath of office, Wednesday, becoming Nevada's newest lawmaker. The Sparks resident represents District 30, previously held by former Assemblyman Mike Sprinkle. He says his first day was busy and compared it to drinking from a fire hose.
"It's going to be a little overwhelming but I think with the support of my colleagues, I think they're going to get me up to speed fairly quickly," Smith, D-Sparks said.
Sprinkle resigned two weeks ago, after he was accused of sexual harassment. That opened the door for Smith, whose late wife once occupied that seat. Senator Debbie Smith served in both the Assembly and Senate before her death in 2016 from brain cancer.
"I learned a lot from watching her solve problems, tough problems," Smith said. "I learned that just by watching her do it so I hope to carry that forward from here."
He says he is carrying on her legacy to an extent but admits that following in his wife's footsteps is not an easy act to follow.
"I could never live up to that but I'm going to try," Smith said.
Many lawmakers already know Smith, and they expect him to do a good job for the remainder of the session.
"He has a lot of work to do and we know he's capable of it," Assem. Teresa Benitez-Thompson, D-Reno said. "We are confident that he's going to do a great job in representing the people of District 30 in this role."
"I hope that like others, he'll be able to work across the aisle and have good ideas going back and forth," Smith said. "I hope that he'll speak to the rural legislators a little bit more. There's only a few of us."
Smith has a background in construction and wildlife conservation but says he is focused on improving the lives of Nevadans through education and economic growth. He says he has every intention of working in a bipartisan way.
"Nothing happens without meeting in the middle, so you've got to find both sides and you come together in the middle," Smith said. "That's the only way things happen."
Nevada Supreme Court Justice James Hardesty administered the oath of office to Smith. The new assemblyman takes over with less than 10 weeks left in the session.
"I don't have an agenda at this point," Smith said. "I just want to move in and basically run with what's here existing and keeps the ball moving forward."
Smith will sit on three committees, starting Thursday. They will not be the same ones that Sprinkle served on.
Governor Steve Sisolak released this statement:
“I am profoundly disgusted and outraged by Mr. Sprinkle’s reported abuse and misconduct. Let me be perfectly clear: sexual harassment is never to be tolerated – especially by an elected official entrusted to serve the public. I commend the courage of those who came forward to report Mr. Sprinkle’s behavior, and I encourage and support anyone who is made to feel uncomfortable to voice their concerns.
“From day one, I have been committed to ensuring state government is a safe environment for all hardworking employees, which is why I established the Governor’s Task Force on Sexual Harassment with my very first executive order. Let me send a clear message to any and all individuals who think it’s okay to harass others in the workplace: such behavior will not be tolerated, and my administration will see to it that such bad actors face the consequences of their behavior. I also applaud the Nevada legislature for its leadership last session in creating a comprehensive process to investigate complaints of harassment within the legislature.
“I am committed to fostering an environment where employees feel comfortable voicing their concerns about any inappropriate behavior and feel confident that they will be protected throughout the process. I look forward to strengthening our system of reporting and investigating misconduct complaints within state government even further.”
Assistant Majority Leader Julia Ratti released the following statement on behalf of the Nevada Senate Democratic Caucus:
“Sexual harassment is unacceptable and there is no place for it, in any circumstance, but especially from our elected officials. We condemn sexual misconduct in the strongest terms. Our Caucus commends the women who came forward to shed light on Assemblyman Sprinkle’s behavior.”