Friday, April 18, 2008 | 3:35 p.m.
Democrats' hopes of getting a veto-proof majority in the state Assembly just got a little tougher.
Assemblywoman Susan Gerhardt, D-Henderson, will not run for re-election, the state party confirmed.
“It’s been my privilege to represent Assembly District 29 and to work on so many critical issues,” Gerhardt said in a statement sent out by the state Democratic party.
The Assembly now has 27 Democrats and 15 Republicans. Speaker Barbara Buckley needs 28 votes to override a veto from Republican Gov. Jim Gibbons.
Democrats believe Assembly District 5, currently occupied by Republican Valerie Weber, who is running for the Clark County Commission, is vulnerable. But even if Democrats pick up that seat, they also would need to retain all of the districts they currently hold, including Gerhardt's, to reach the 28-seat goal.
Republicans have high hopes to take Gerhardt’s seat with Sean Fellows, an Air Force veteran who served in Iraq and already has had some high-dollar fund-raisers.
Democrats have recruited April Mastroluca to run in Gerhardt's district, according to the statement.
Gerhardt, first elected to the Assembly in 2004, “is recovering from a successful surgery earlier this week" and cited personal health and family issues for not running, the statement said.
She announced this month that she was one of the tens of thousands of Nevadans who had to be tested for hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV because she had a procedure performed at the Endoscopy Center of Southern Nevada. Health officials have blamed the reuse of syringes and single-patient medication vials at the clinic for at least six cases of hepatitis C.
Gerhardt's subsequent test came back negative, the statement said.