weather icon Partly Cloudy

Aaron Ford setting priorities for his time as Nevada attorney general

With the election in the rearview mirror, Nevada Attorney General-elect Aaron Ford is turning his sights toward bolstering funding for mental health programs and potentially undoing some of his predecessor’s work.

Ford, who defeated Republican Wes Duncan in the Nov. 6 election, said one of the first things he plans to do once in office is make good on his campaign promise to look at the lawsuits that outgoing Attorney General Adam Laxalt signed onto over his four-year term.

“Those weren’t talking points. I intend absolutely to take a strong look at some of the lawsuits that Attorney General Laxalt has joined in and some he has chosen not to join,” Ford told the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Specifically, Ford said he wants to look at lawsuits that deal with health care and abortion laws, but he said he won’t take any action until he’s discussed the cases with Gov.-elect Steve Sisolak.

Beyond analyzing Nevada’s legal involvement in other states’ lawsuits, Ford said he wants to increase lobbying of the state Legislature to raise money for mental health programs. A specific area of need, he said, is mobile outreach support teams, which are aimed at identifying people who would be better served going through mental health programs rather than the criminal justice system.

For Ford, winning the race had greater meaning because he is the first African-American to win election to a statewide executive office in Nevada.

“It means a lot for a kid like me to be able to not only aspire but become attorney general and potentially be an example to others,” he said. “Not just African-American youth but to all youth, that they can get it done.”

Ford, 46, credits his staff, including campaign manager Jessica Adair and political assistant Naomi Gebremariam, for guiding the campaign to the win and overcoming the issues that could have plagued the team, including news stories about unpaid tax liens and a series of arrests in Ford’s youth.

“Not paying for a tire fast enough shouldn’t mean that you aren’t able to do anything for the rest of your life. And I think voters recognized that,” Adair said.

But to get to that victory, Ford knew that race might be an obstacle he’d have to overcome.

Ford said he endured racial attacks throughout the campaign. The day after the election, he said, he received a Facebook message that included profanity and a racial epithet.

He said his victory demonstrated that Nevada at large has embraced diversity in its elected officials. He pointed to the female majority the state now has in its Supreme Court and Assembly, and he cited Congressman-elect Steven Horsford, Assembly Speaker Jason Frierson and Senate Majority Leader Kelvin Atkinson, who are all black, as further examples of that embrace.

“This state has demonstrated that it has the ability to move beyond race,” Ford said. “We are allowing diversity to flourish.”

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
FEMA vaccination clinic shifts to Beatty

Hundreds of Nye County residents braved warm temperatures in order to receive their COVID-19 vaccinations in Pahrump on Thursday.

WGU unveils Essential Workers Scholarship

Western Governors University Nevada announced Wednesday a new scholarship program for essential workers seeking degrees in high-demand career fields including business, teaching, information technology and health professions, such as nursing.

Hospice symposium to focus on equity in end-of-life care

Nathan Adelson Hospice will host its 17th annual Multicultural Symposium virtually beginning at 1 p.m. April 14 with a variety of topics addressing equity in end-of-life care.

State’s tax amnesty period ends May 1 for businesses

There is less than one month left of Nevada’s Tax Amnesty program that began Feb. 1. Business entities that have unpaid tax debt can file/pay their taxes online or download the missing tax returns that are available on the Department of Taxation’s website https://tax.nv.gov/

Fleeing man arrested at gunpoint in Pahrump

One man was arrested and taken into custody following a disturbance at Bank of America just after 9 a.m. on Tuesday, April 6.

Nye County votes to fully reopen, sidestep mask mandate

On Tuesday, April 6, the Nye County Commission, after several hours of public comment and debate, voted 5-0 to approve fully reopening Nye County and its businesses, and to essentially do away with the mask mandate.

Letters to the Editor

Good, bad, and ugly are present in today’s society

Overnight oatmeal is power packed for pennies

When it comes to cheap eats it doesn’t get more frugal and fabulous than oatmeal. It’s a whole grain, packed with fiber and nutrients, the taste is compatible with endless variations, and costs mere pennies per serving. Are you sold yet? How about this: you can literally make it while your sleep. Does that appeal to your inner multi-tasker? Yup. Mine, too.

Drive-thru Senior Fair set at Inspirations in Pahrump

Pahrump Valley seniors should mark their calendars for Saturday, April 17 when they will have a chance to head out to the Drive-Thru Senior Fair at Inspirations Senior Living Center, where there will be a plethora of organizations gathered for an event intended to help educate the older population about the area’s many valuable resources.

Pahrump’s Community Easter Curbside hailed as huge hit

At 10 a.m. on a bright and sunny Saturday morning, a line of vehicles started forming at the NyE Communities Coalition and suddenly it was go-time for the dozens of volunteers on hand for this year’s Community Easter Curbside Pick-up Event.