(Sean Whaley/Nevada News Bureau) – With term limits taking effect for 17 veteran state lawmakers in 2010, those who want to continue to serve are setting their sights on other elective office. A number of state Assembly candidates are looking to move up into a vacant state Senate seat.
But in at least one case, a lawmaker is doing the opposite.
State Sen. Maggie Carlton, D-Las Vegas, is being forced out of her Clark District 2 seat due to term limits. She has decided to run for the Assembly 14 seat held by Ellen Koivisto, another Democrat who must also vacate her seat because of term limits.
Carlton said she has a lot of unfinished work from her time in the Senate, and serving in the Assembly is the best way to keep involved in public policy issues. Carlton is a resident in Assembly District 14 so the choice was an easy one to make. She has been endorsed by the Assembly Democratic Caucus.
“There has been a time or two when a member of the Senate has run for the Assembly,” she said. “But this will be the first time it has been inspired by term limits.”
Carlton, who works for the nonprofit Great Basin Primary Care Association, said she wants to continue working on the foreclosure crisis and health care reform, among other issues. The association promotes access to affordable health care for Nevada’s underserved populations.
“Health care will be huge,” she said.
Carlton just returned from a visit to Washington, D.C., where health care reform was the topic of discussion. State Legislatures will be involved in implementing any health care reform passed by Congress, she said.
Carlton said her experience dealing with the state budget crisis in the 2009 session will be a benefit in 2011. The 2011 session will be like 2009, part two, she said.
“Hopefully we’ll have turned the corner on the economy,” Carlton said.
But even if the economy is on its way to recovery, the state faces a huge challenge with the budget, she said.
Koivisto could not be reached for comment on her future plans, but she does not reside in Carlton’s Senate district.