Don Tatro, Reno Businessman, appointed to Kieckhefer’s Open Senate Seat
Tatro was supported solely by Washoe County commissioners
By Megan Barth, November 10, 2021 4:30 pm
As reported by the Nevada Independent, ” Washoe County commissioners and Carson City supervisors voted Wednesday to appoint mortgage broker Donald Tatro to an open state Senate seat representing District 16, ahead of the coming redistricting special session that will determine the bounds of the district for the next decade.
The seat was left open following the resignation of Ben Kieckhefer, a Republican who was appointed to the Nevada Gaming Commission last month.
The selection of Tatro, a Reno resident, was supported solely by officials from Washoe County, who had the majority of votes in the appointment process because a greater percentage of the district’s residents live in Washoe County. Washoe County commissioners represented 62 percent of voters in the district, compared with 38 percent for the Carson City supervisors.
The supervisors voted for former Assemblyman Robert Weise, a Carson City resident who served in the Legislature for three terms in the late 1970s.
However, some Carson City officials still expressed support for the new appointee.
“I think Mr. Tatro, having been a former resident of Carson City, will do a fine job,” Supervisor Stacey Giomi said on Wednesday. “He was one of my finalists, and I believe he’ll represent both counties to the utmost of his ability.”
Tatro, a Republican, has never served as an elected official before, but he has government experience as a deputy press secretary for former U.S. Sen. John Ensign (R-NV) and press secretary for former U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK). He also served as the executive director of the Builders Association of Northern Nevada from February 2015 to November 2020 and lobbied the Legislature during that time.
Senate District 16 covers all of Carson City and the southern tip of Washoe County stretching from the northwest corner of Lake Tahoe to an area just south of the Reno-Tahoe International Airport.
According to the Independent, Tatro “does not have any intention to run for election in Senate District 16, will serve the remainder of Kieckhefer’s term, until a new senator is sworn in following the results of next year’s election. Tatro will represent the district through the reapportionment process and also will serve on the Interim Finance Committee and Joint Interim Standing Committee on Revenue.”
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