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Northern Nevada Republican State Sen. Seevers Gansert reflects on 20 years in politics

A woman smiling and posing for a photo. She’s wearing a blazer and standing indoors in front of a wall with her framed accomplishments. There’s an American flag on one side of her and the Nevada State flag on the other.
Lucia Starbuck
/
KUNR Public Radio
Republican State Sen. Heidi Seevers Gansert served as the Senate minority leader during the 2023 Nevada Legislative Session.

After two decades in politics, Republican State Sen. Heidi Seevers Gansert said she’s stepping away from politics to spend more time with her family. She’s the mother of four, with her first grandbaby due in two weeks. She said she doesn’t foresee running for office in the future.

Seevers Gansert represents District 15 in Northern Nevada, which includes parts of west and north Reno, including Sun Valley. It will be a highly competitive seat in next year’s election. She’s held her Senate seat since 2016.

Her political career began when she was elected to the state Assembly in 2004. She said some of her biggest accomplishments include creating the sex offender registry and an app called SafeVoice, which allows students and parents to report threats to safety, like bullying. It receives roughly 8,000 tips per year, she said.

Seevers Gansert is also proud of the dual reporting system, which she said improves the tracking of abusers in schools.

“If someone was accused of abuse in schools, whether it was a coach, or volunteer, or teacher, there is a record,” Seevers Gansert said. “There’s a phenomenon known as ‘Passing the trash,’ where somebody who’s abusive to kids and they resigned from one school district to go work in another, so this really helps leave a mark.”

This past spring, Seevers Gansert co-sponsored bipartisan legislation that gives Nevada colleges and universities $20 million over the next two fiscal years to increase the number of graduating nurses.

Seevers Gansert said she wants to be known for working across the aisle on behalf of all Nevadans, particularly for children and on health care issues.

According to a recent analysis byThe Nevada Independent, Seevers Gansert voted against party lines more than any other lawmaker in the 2023 session, including a new law that prohibits the state from issuing an arrest warrant for someone who’s been charged in another state for providing or receiving reproductive health care and another one that allows minors to access services that prevent sexually transmitted diseases without a parent’s consent.

“Also standing alone sometimes on issues that are important to women, even if I was, you know, expanding birth control, things like that, equal rights,” Seevers Gansert said. “I took some votes all by myself and I stand by those votes. I want people to recognize my independence and the work that I did for the state.”

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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