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Following questions regarding her whereabouts, Las Vegas Sen. Elizabeth Halseth resigns


Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

Freshman Sen. Elizabeth Halseth talks with veteran Sen. Michael Schneider after a meeting of the Senate Revenue Committee on the second day of the 2011 legislative session Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2011, in Carson City.

Updated Friday, Feb. 17, 2012 | 5:22 p.m.

Freshman state Sen. Elizabeth Halseth, R-Las Vegas, resigned her office today, citing the demands of being a single mother and difficulty finding a job in Nevada, where “personal attacks … made it impossible to locate employment.”

In a letter to Gov. Brian Sandoval delivered Friday, she said, “I must focus my efforts completely as a mother and job seeker,” she wrote. “I simply cannot provide the level of service to the residents of District 9 they are entitled to.”

The two-page letter said there was a “very real possibility that I will have to relocate” to find work.

Halseth and her husband, Daniel, are getting a divorce. Her husband was arrested last year on "gross and open lewdness" charges.

Halseth’s resignation comes after a Wednesday Legislative Commission meeting, where Democratic lawmakers complained she had not been attending meetings or returning phone calls.

Her resignation from state Senate District 9 will put that seat on the ballot, two years ahead of schedule. Democrats hold a 5 percent point voter registration edge in the district, making Democratic control of the state Senate more likely.

Republicans still believe they can take back control of the state Senate, where Democrats currently have an 11 to 10 majority. But Republicans will have to win five of six seats that are up for election in November, and only one of those seats, the rural seat, has a decisive Republican voter registration advantage.

Some Republicans lobbied Halseth to wait until later this year to resign so the Clark County Commission would be required to appoint a Republican to fill the two years remaining on her term.

For tactical reasons, Democrats wanted to press the issue of whether Halseth would serve in the 2013 Legislature and whether she still lived in her district.

Questions about her residency were not strictly partisan, however.

Conservative political consultant Chuck Muth, who blogged frequently about Halseth’s personal travails, advocated that she resign so conservatives could find a strong candidate instead of having one appointed by Clark County commissioners, who are all Democrats.

Halseth said her “reputation and integrity” were “regularly demonized by selfish partisans and a handful of reckless bloggers with personal agendas of salacious, unfounded personal attacks on me.”

Halseth won her primary against Republican state Sen. Denis Nolan, running as the more conservative candidate. She voted against the tax extension compromise passed by the 2011 Legisature.

In her letter, she blamed Nevada’s nation-leading unemployment and “a President that continues to make it difficult for Nevada businesses to grow, invest and create jobs.”

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  1. Hope she gets her personal life together.

  2. Well then, I guess Ms Halseth finally gave some thought to the people who elected her. I could care less about her personal life; we all have issues that influence our daily lives. Clear the decks and let's have an open election to replace her.

  3. The comments were right - and she came to her senses.

    I think it is entirely fair to criticize this person, given the hypocrisy of her party. Here is a person who was elected to office by Teaparty support - a Republican woman who advanced the Republican agenda - and agenda that commonly encouraged the idea that Wives be submissive to their husbands - then this happens and now she can't handle the pressure?

    This is pure hypocrisy. I hope she now realizes the blatant ignorance of the Republican party and their blind ideology. Do as I say not as I do.

    This is just ONE example of Republican Conservative hypocrisy. Shame on all of them and shame on this person for supporting this party. Now that reality has set it - it looks like she may have second thoughts on this issue.

    Some may say this is unfair - but keep in mind that Republicans have advanced this idea, Wives should be submissive to their husbands, in a very blatantly ignorant blind way - being entirely unrealistic. Now this hits home and I hope she learns from her lesson. Maybe next time she should consider how advances such a hurtful policy can hurt other woman who have experienced and pain and suffering she has suffered.

  4. Please create an edit button. Thanks.

  5. I'm glad voters in District 9 will now have an opportunity to vote for a Senator who's actually interested in fulfilling one's duties to the constituents.

  6. When you advance a party that is fixed on promoting a policy that contradicts your true beliefs - it is fair game to call you out on that contradiction.

  7. Regardless of my disagreements with her political stances, it's tough to hear about someone going through a messy divorce. Especially when it involves kids. I wish her the best and hope she gets everything worked out.

  8. Politics is a dirty, nasty game, full of irrational people, nut jobs, political troglodytes, petty tyrants, and greedy self-interested people (who take other people's money for their own ends).

    You will do more good and create more happiness in Nevada in the private sector Elizabeth. Best of luck to you!

  9. I talked to her once and emailed with her a few times, and she seemed very nice. It's sad for any young woman trying to make a success of her life have to step back in the way Sen. Halseth did.

  10. The Republican party has NEVER stated that "Women should be submissive to their husbands." And anyone who states otherwise is either so ignorant they stink on ice or just trying to smear someone for their own gain.

    Oh lets talk about hypocrisy for just a minute. The democrats have almost cornered the market on that one. Pay for play? At just about every level in government you find this and the democrts lead the way.

    Certain Democrat Legislators are not declaring all their expenses in their Contribution and Expense Reports. Assemblywomen Debbie Smith (D - Sparks) and Lucy Flores (D - Las Vegas) and Assemblyman David Bobzien (D - Reno) all admitted in a story in the Las Vegas Sun that they did not disclose all the disbursements from their campaign accounts.

    And as I recall Lucy Flores is on Obummers truth team. Where's the the truth. Would they know the truth if it hit them in the face? How about if they stepped in it first?

    For the Hispanics out there who during the last election were promised a vote on the DREAM act, Nancy Pelosi could not find the time to bring it to a vote. Citing republican obstructionism. Well unfortunately that is pure BS. Democrats controlled the house the senate and the white house. Hispanics got played as it was not a democrat priority. They got screwed - hypocrisy? I can go on and on and on.

    Democrats only know one thing and that is OPPRESSION and they do not tolerate anyone else being successful. They openly work to make sure you cannot be successful unless YOU PAY THEM FIRST. They are far worse than the MOB ever was. They are the Original "do as I say , not as I do" crowd.

    Elizabeth is a person with a lot of problems and I hope she comes through this a better person.

  11. I was sympathizing with her, even feeling sorry for her that she had married a pervert, until she got to blaming everyone and everything for why she is resigning and I do not believe she ever truthfully got to that one in this rant, er, letter.

    I lost all sympathy for her when she posted this last sentence.....In her letter, she blamed Nevada's nation-leading unemployment and "a President that continues to make it difficult for Nevada businesses to grow, invest and create jobs."

    Another stupid, hateful Repub blaming Obama and everyone and everything for their downfall, except the actual guilty party...THEMSELVES. GOODBYE AND GOOD RIDDANCE.

  12. Republicans Oppose Everything - Public Education, Birth Control, Abortions, Public Medicare, Public Social Security, JOBS, Medicaid, Clean Water and Air, Food Inspection, Worker Safety, Pharmaceutical Inspections, Infrastructure, etc.. Except when they happen to need one of these programs themselves - Then they whine about the useless Government they Destroyed.

  13. GM is hiring on the graveyard shift. She should pack her 'Mittens' and head to the rust belt for a job and cheeseburger with fries.

  14. @robwhitetrash...

    Amen, Brother!!!

    The 'defense' of Halseth contained herein is remarkable, indeed. How do such misguided notions come to be?

    "Oh, there, there,'ll be okay; it's the evilness of Gubbermint at play! You'll do SO much better in the 'private sector', where you can do such good deeds; Godspeed!"

    If she were a Democrat, these very same defenders would be making her out to be the 'worst person in the world'.
    She reminds me a little of Christine O'Donnell.

  15. She drank the tea and got dysentery!

  16. This is for rylandsteward to read:

  17. I agree with those who point out she was reasonable and seemed O.K. until she stopped showing up. And, I felt for her during that time as well. But, that blaming rant of a letter saying she's resigning is just plain wrong. After seeing that, I'm glad she's leaving. We need people who take responsibility for their choices. Heck, I've been divorced too - big deal. Many people get divorced. And, we move on.

  18. Wow - After reading more into this matter - from the helpful links provided by users on this site - I feel sorry for the kids.

    Politics aside - all these adults acting like a bunch of juvenile delinquents without any care for the children - any concern or consideration for the best interest of these three kids.

    Didn't anyone teach these people that family ALWAYS comes first, more so your children. All this philandering, sexual desires, political inclinations, all that garbage should NEVER be put ahead of your children.

    Because at the end of the day - all you have is your children. You have them only once and you need to learn to appreciate them.