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Departing Assemblyman Anderson Excited To 'Sell' Nevada To Businesses


(AP Photo/Cathleen Allison)

In this photo taken on April 21, 2015, Nevada Assembly Republicans, standing from left, Victoria Seaman, Jim Wheeler and Michele Fiore talk with Assembly Majority Leader Paul Anderson, center, on the Assembly floor at the Legislative Building in Carson City, Nev.

Nevada Assemblyman Paul Anderson is leaving the Legislature.

Thursday was his last day as the representative for Assembly District 13 in northwest Las Vegas. He's leaving to take a job as the head of the Governor's Office of Economic Development.

He will be replacing Steve Hill, who is leaving for a position at the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.

Anderson served three terms and led the Assembly Republican Caucus.

"I've been on the legislative side of building incentives and building programs that have attracted businesses to the state -- I've never been on the execute side, the deal-making side when it comes to the Governor's Office of Economic Development work," Anderson told KNPR's State of Nevada.

Anderson said he had a "passion for selling Nevada" to companies and corporations around the country.

Even though the position is a short-term one, he said he was happy to be a "pinch hitter" to keep Governor Brian Sandoval and Hill's work moving forward.

Despite the change in position, Anderson said don't count him out of elected office.

"I don't think I would ever close the door on that," he said.

He said he will always be open to opportunities that present themselves, but for now, the position works for him. 

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"It was a good fit for me as I think about what my next transition is in a career," he said.

Anderson said he might have had a more difficult time making the decision to leave the Legislature if the Republican Party had still been in control.

"It is different when you can't drive the agenda and you can't manage the committees and pursue maybe bigger and bolder opportunities in the majority level versus on the minority side," he said.

During the 2015 legislative session, Republicans were in control of the governor's office, the Assembly, the State Senate and most of the executive positions.

Anderson and party leadership clashed with other Republicans. He said that session and the partisanship was part of the decision.

"It plays into it for sure," he said. "If your life was in constant conflict with one party or one member or one body or even one branch of government, that does take its toll."

Despite the disputes in the 2015 legislative session, Anderson counts the results from that time as some of his biggest accomplishments.

"We passed foundational reforms that will forever change the face of education in Nevada," he said. "I can't help but think that's for generations to come one of my proudest accomplishments."

Anderson was among the Republican lawmakers who voted to create the commerce tax to pay for education reforms in the state. He said seeing children at bill signings for education reforms and knowing the impact the bill will have on their lives was especially rewarding.

He was disappointed that Education Savings Accounts, or ESAs, did not get passed during this past legislative session.


Paul Anderson, former Assemblyman 

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