On Friday, Dec. 4, the Nevada governor’s office announced the appointment of Bruce Jabbour to the vacant Nye County Commission District 1 seat, a full four days before the formal deadline for applications to fill the seat had passed.
“I am absolutely honored to receive this distinguished commission appointment from our Governor Steve Sisolak and I’m thoroughly impressed that the governor carved out precious time to personally call informing me of his decision,” Jabbour told the Pahrump Valley Times when reached for comment. “There are many pressing and sensitive issues facing Nye County as a whole and I’m not sure taking baby steps will be my approach. I will remain dedicated to the people of Nye County and do my very best, ensuring a fair and equitable outcome!”
The commission district 1 vacancy came as a result of the passing of commissioner-elect Richard “Dick” Gardner, who had triumphed over four opponents in the 2020 Republican primary to take that party’s nomination. Gardner was then set to face a nonpartisan opponent in the general election but that opponent, Darryl Lackey, was unable to secure the necessary number of signatures to have himself placed on the November ballot, leaving the way clear for Gardner to join the board in 2021.
However, Gardner unexpectedly passed away on Oct. 26, just one week before the general election that would have made his election official.
Jabbour was also in the 2020 Republican primary for the district 1 seat, coming in second with approximately 23% of the vote to Gardner’s 27%.
“Bruce brings extensive knowledge from his many years in the tourism and hospitality industry,” Sisolak stated in the news release announcing Jabbour’s appointment. “I am confident his experiences will make him an outstanding county commissioner and serve the people of Nye County with honor and distinction.”
Jabbour, who resides in Tonopah, comes with plenty of local experience under his belt and is currently the senior vice president of operations for Tonopah Hospitality Services/North Tonopah Development. He is also the current vice chair of the Nevada Silver Trails Tourism Board, president of the Esmeralda County Economic Development Board, a member of the Nevada Site Special Advisory Board and pastoral advisor to St. Michael’s Cathedral. Throughout his career, Jabbour had served as the general manager of the Mizpah Hotel while that historic building was undergoing its renovation and grand reopening as well.
“My background in hospitality gaming is being very resourceful and finding a resolution very quickly, to have you come in and leave well pleased with your experience… So that’s my whole core, that’s my expertise and I have been very successful in bridging the gap between,” Jabbour had told the Times in an interview regarding his candidacy during the 2020 primary cycle. “I’m running for district 1, yes, but I am going to be representing everybody in Nye County, not just in my district. And everyone feels as if they are neglected, whether they are in the north or the south. The issues at hand, there are many and it’s not going to be easy.” Touching on a few of the topics he would be most interested in tackling, Jabbour had said water, roads and health care were at the top of his list.
Jabbour will join current Nye County commissioners Debra Strickland and Leo Blundo, both Republicans, on the board, as well as Republican commissioner Donna Cox, who will be serving her third and final term beginning in January, 2021, and former Nye County Commissioner Frank Carbone, who is set to return to the commission after his win against commissioner John Koenig in the 2020 Republican primary. Jabbour will serve in his appointed capacity for two years, at which time the seat will be up for election once more.
Contact reporter Robin Hebrock at firstname.lastname@example.org