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Photo: reviewjournal.com

Who is Steve Sisolak?

Stephen F. Sisolak (born December 26, 1953) is an American businessman and politician serving as the 30th and current Governor of Nevada since 2019. A member of the Democratic Party, he previously chaired the Clark County Commission from 2013 to 2019.

After becoming involved in several civic causes and government projects, Sisolak won election to the Nevada Board of Regents and served from 1999 to 2008. In 2008, he won election to the Clark County Commission and was reelected in 2012 and 2016. In 2018, Sisolak won the Democratic nomination for Governor of Nevada, defeating Clark County Commission colleague Chris Giunchigliani in the primary election.

On November 6, 2018, Sisolak defeated Republican nominee, Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt in the general election, becoming the first Democrat serving in the Nevada governorship since Bob Miller left office in 1999.

Early life and education

Sisolak was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. His father is Edward Frank Sisolak, a project engineer for General Motors, married Mary, who worked at a convenience store. They worked hard to provide for their three children. Steve inherited their blue-collar ethic, working full-time to put himself through college at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Sisolak earned a B.S. in business from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee in 1974, and an M.B.A. from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in 1978.

Personal life

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Sisolak married in the late 1980s and had two daughters with his wife, Lori "Dallas" Garland. Sisolak and Garland later divorced. Sisolak dated Kathleen Boutin Vermillion, who at the time of her relationship with Sisolak was a Henderson city councilwoman. Shortly after winning the 2018 Nevada gubernatorial election, Sisolak announced his engagement to Kathy Ong, an Ely, Nevada native and girlfriend of five years. On December 28, 2018, Sisolak announced his marriage to Ong. Sisolak tested positive for Covid-19 in November of 2020.


Sisolak is a successful entrepreneur and was a partner in the American Distributing Company, a venture that sells coffee cups, pens, and other promotional items to businesses, as well as holding a partnership in a second company, Associated Industries.

He began his involvement in elected office by winning a seat on the Nevada Board of Regents in 1998, where he served for 10 years. He was then elected to the Clark County Commission, with his term beginning in 2009. He was elected by his peers as Chair of the Clark County Commission in January 2013.

Nevada Board of Regents

During his time on the Board of Regents, Sisolak discovered that thousands of Nevada students had been wrongly charged out-of-state tuition and won refunds for these students.

In 2002, Sisolak sided with students and voted against a 16% tuition increase. Sisolak voted against student fee hikes in 2003 and 2008.

Sisolak fought to bring back a popular apprenticeship program at the College of Southern Nevada that has been abruptly canceled during the recession.

Clark County Commission

After joining the commission in 2009, Sisolak was "vehemently opposed to raising property taxes" and property tax rates remained flat during his entire tenure on the commission. Sisolak voted against increasing the county gas tax in 2013. He served as the commission's vice chairman before becoming chairman in 2013.

Sisolak won praise from the conservative Nevada Policy Research Institute for fighting against waste, fraud, and abuse. During the recession, Sisolak was a vocal critic of overtime and sick leave abuse, and his efforts resulted in over $7 million in reduced overtime costs and $30 million in reduced disability costs.

Governor of Nevada

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He won in the general election on November 6, 2018, with 49.4 percent of the vote, defeating Attorney General Adam Laxalt and three other candidates. Sisolak's election in 2018 made Nevada a Democratic state trifecta for the first time since 1992.

On January 7, 2019, Sisolak was sworn in as the 30th Governor of Nevada.

Steve is proud to be able to call Nevada home and is honored to serve as their governor. Throughout his time in office. Steve’s goal is to keep Nevada strong and moving forward by investing in education, creating jobs by diversifying the economy, and guaranteeing quality, affordable health care for all Nevadans.

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