(Katelynn Richardson) – The Nevada Police Union has endorsed Joe Lombardo for Nevada Governor, it announced Monday.
In a poll last week, 95.3% of NPU members (451-22) gave Governor Steve Sisolak a vote of “No Confidence.”
The union represents public safety employees like highway patrol troopers, parole and probation officers, fire marshalls, detectives, game wardens, park rangers, university police, capitol police, agricultural police, and retired officers.
“Our membership has lost confidence in Governor Sisolak to address the record-high shortages of state police, which leaves our residents and visitors less safe,” said NPU president Dan Gordon in a statement. “For the safety of all Nevadans, a leadership change is critically needed.
“Sheriff Lombardo is the most qualified and committed candidate to address state police turnover, vacancy rates, and poor working conditions and that is why he has earned NPU’s endorsement for Nevada governor,” Gordon continued.
The NPU says Sisolak’s failure to address its continued concern about pay inequity and poor working conditions have resulted in “record-high turnover and vacancy rates of state police” that threatens safety.
Meghin Delaney, spokesperson for the governor, responded to last week’s vote of no confidence by saying the NPU has “stooped to political stunts.”
“These stunts only hurt the men and women who put their lives on the line every day to keep our communities safe,” Delaney said in a statement.
“The Governor has a career-long record of supporting law enforcement. That won’t change now or ever,” Delaney said.” He deeply understands the issues facing our public safety employees and it’s why he committed – back in February – to funding sustainable raises for State Police in his budget, a budget that cannot be passed until the Legislature meets in 2023.”
NPU called the response “disingenuous,” listing out eight ways the governor has failed officers, which included increased costs for state police, vaccine mandates for state workers, and a lack of action and communication.
In a statement, Sheriff Joe Lombardo said he was honored to receive the endorsement.
“Steve Sisolak’s reckless mismanagement and abandonment of the Nevada State Police are unacceptable,” Lombardo said. “As a direct result of Sisolak’s failures with the Nevada State Police, 2021 was the deadliest year on Nevada roads in 14 years, and our roads are now some of the most dangerous in the entire country.”
The NPU did endorse Democratic incumbent Senator Catherine Cortez Masto, who wrote a memo on October 6th advising the governor’s office to allocate federal funds to law enforcement.
“Nevada state law enforcement officers are paid 35% less than other officers, and they were hit especially hard during the pandemic,” Cortez Masto wrote in a recent Fox News column. “They need our help, and that’s why I fully support their push to be made whole from their pandemic sacrifices through American Rescue Plan funding. That’s exactly what these federal dollars were designed to support.”
Katelynn Richardson | The Center Square