Brian Sandoval was born in Redding, Calif., and grew up in Sparks, Nev. He currently resides in Reno. He earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Nevada-Reno and a law degree from Ohio State University.
Sandoval was elected to the Nevada Assembly in 1994 and served two terms. He was appointed in 1998 to the Nevada Gaming Commission.
Sandoval won election to the state attorney general's office in 2002. He left that post in October 2005 after he was confirmed for a federal judgeship. He left the lifetime appointment in September 2009 to run for governor.
Sandoval and his wife, Kathleen, have three children.
Brian Sandoval left a lifetime appointment as a U.S. District Court judge to take on the incumbent Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons, who Sandoval defeated in the June 2010 Republican primary. In the general election, Sandoval easily defeated Democrat Rory Reid, son of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who had recommended Sandoval for the federal bench.
Sandoval was considered a moderate in the state Assembly, but he tacked to the right during the 2010 campaign to tap into a growing conservative tea party movement. He pledged not to raise taxes at a time Nevada faced a projected $3 billion shortfall — about half its budget — going into the 2011 legislative session.
But his hard stance took a pragmatic turn late in the 2011 session when a Nevada Supreme Court ruling raised legal doubt over funding sources used to balance his budget. In a late compromise with Democrats and conservative Republicans, Sandoval agreed to extend $620 million in temporary taxes that had been set to "sunset" in June 2011 to balance his $6.2 billion two-year general fund spending plan.
Sandoval also won education reforms, despite Democratic control of both the Nevada Assembly and Senate. New laws gave the governor, instead of the state Board of Education, authority to appoint the state school superintendent. Other reforms extend probationary periods for teachers, make it easier to fire underperforming educators and prohibit using seniority as the only consideration when school districts impose layoffs.
Sandoval, in a bipartisan effort with lawmakers, also overhauled Nevada's economic development efforts, creating the Governor's Office of Economic Development and a $10 million "catalyst fund" to help spur job growth in a state that has led the nation in unemployment since May 2010. Sandoval in February 2012 said his goal is to create 50,000 jobs by 2014.
In March 2012, he announced his budget proposal for the next biennium that begins July 1, 2013, would include another extension of the temporary taxes, saying Nevada's public schools and higher education system could not withstand more cuts. He also said his decision means there would be no need for tax hikes.
Sandoval crosses party lines in his stance on abortion and identifies as pro-choice.
Sandoval is Nevada's first Hispanic governor and has enjoyed voter approval ratings around 60 percent since taking office. He is frequently mentioned as a possible Republican vice presidential contender. In early 2012 Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney listed Sandoval at the top of his list when asked about potential Hispanic cabinet members. Sandoval has repeatedly said he isn't interested in higher office and that he intends to seek re-election in 2014.
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Brian Sandoval won his June 2014 primary, he will face Robert Goodman in November.
(Last updated by The Associated Press on June 16, 2014.)