Former fire inspector to fill Atkinson's state Senate seat

AP

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Retired Clark County fire inspector Marcia Washington poses for a photo Friday, March 15, 2019, in Las Vegas. Washington was selected by the Clark County Commission Friday to fill the vacant legislative position of Kelvin Atkinson, who represented Senate District 4 until he resigned earlier in the month. (Shea Johnson/Las Vegas Review-Journal via AP)

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) Clark County commissioners on Friday selected a retired fire inspector to fill the legislative opening left vacant by a former state senator who resigned in scandal and has since pleaded guilty to wire fraud.

The commissioners, going with a recommendation from the Nevada Senate Democratic caucus, picked Marcia Washington to fill the seat. Washington told commissioners that she has no plans to run for the seat once the term ends in 2020.

"I have always been committed to this community," she told commissioners before the vote.

The state Senate district covers portions of Las Vegas and North Las Vegas. The district's seat was left vacant by former Senate Majority Leader Kelvin Atkinson, who pleaded guilty in federal court to using at least $250,000 in campaign contributions to lease a luxury SUV, open a Las Vegas nightclub and pay for other expenses.

Democratic state Sen. Nicole Cannizzaro, who took over for Atkinson as Senate majority leader, said in a statement that Washington "brings a wealth of valuable experience to the Nevada Senate."

"With just 80 days remaining in the Session, I have no doubt that Marcia is ready to get to work on the issues that matter most to her community," she said in the statement.

Washington, who worked for more than two decades for the Clark County School District, was backed by the Culinary Union.

"The Culinary Union believes that Marcia Washington is the right person to fill this seat because her experience will allow her to hit the ground running in the legislature and be a strong advocate for working families," the union said in a statement.

Washington's application says she has also served on the Nevada State Board of Education.

Assemblywoman Dina Neal also applied to fill the position, but a motion to select her for the post failed to gain enough votes. She pledged to run for the state Senate seat once the term ends.

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