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Governor Lombardo pledges no new taxes, less government oversight, and more school choice at inauguration

Joe Lombardo is wearing a black suit with a dark red tie. He’s standing on a stage behind a podium, looking at a seated audience who is in the dark. There are a few rows of people seated behind Lombardo, along with a blue curtain and a blue and silver circular seal for the State of Nevada.
Lucia Starbuck
KUNR Public Radio
Republican Governor Joe Lombardo made a speech at his inauguration ceremony at the Carson City Community Center in Carson City, Nev., on Jan. 3, 2023.

Republican Joe Lombardo promised to work across the aisle during his swearing-in as Nevada’s 31st governor in a public inauguration ceremony on January 3.

Inclement weather forced the event to be moved from the lawn at the Nevada State Capitol to the Carson City Community Center. Republican and Democratic lawmakers, law enforcement, and family filled the auditorium.

“As governor, I am filled with hope and optimism [in] what we can accomplish if we simply summon the will to work together,” Lombardo said. “This is the central covenant of my administration. At the same time, I will carry the cause of conservative ideals that are anchored by personal responsibility, physical discipline, and limited government interference.”

The former Clark County Sheriff shared the stage with past governors, including Democrat Steve Sisolak and Republican Brian Sandoval. He took an oath of office with the state’s Republican Lieutenant Governor Stavros Anthony and Controller Andy Matthews, and Democrats Attorney General Aaron Ford, Treasurer Zach Conine, and Secretary of State Cisco Aguilar.

Lombardo pledged not to raise or create taxes and expand school choice, which would allow parents to use state money for private-school education.

“Most importantly, I urge you to join with me as we work to unleash the roar of Nevada’s economic recovery,” Lombardo said. “Listen, I accept that there are political divisions between some of us. I realize too, that in some places, we are needlessly polarized. To everyone, I say, we can either surrender ourselves to it, or we can strive to rise above it by acknowledging that we all have a responsibility to the future.”

Also in attendance was State Senate Majority leader Nicole Cannizzaro, a Democrat. She said Nevada has a history of bipartisanship.

“The legislature is the policy branch. We’re the branch that hears bills. We are the people who are going to vote to send policy to the governor’s desk,” Cannizzaro said. “While we have to work together, I think it’s important that we’re still very much a part of that conversation. And at the same time that Governor Lombardo won an election, we expanded democratic majorities in the state. So, what I take from all of that is that we really have an obligation to Nevadans.”

Cannizzaro said the legislature, which convenes on February 6, needs to address affordable housing and healthcare. She hopes to learn more concrete goals from Lombardo during the “State of the State” address on January 23.

Lucia Starbuck is an award-winning political journalist and the host of KUNR’s monthly show Purple Politics Nevada. She is passionate about reporting during election season, attending community events, and talking to people about the issues that matter most to them.
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