Politics and Government

Campaign Finance

Nevada's first attempts to regulate campaign finance occurred in the 1890s with the birth of the Silver Party and state legislators who introduced the first campaign finance reform measure in 1895. Modern campaign finance law continues to develop in Nevada and now requires reports of campaign contributions and expenditures, places limits on the amount one person can contribute to a candidate or question, and regulates the time period for contributions.

Bob Brown

Few journalists and political figures have been more involved in Nevada politics than Bob Brown. Born in Glendale, California, he was the son of a newspaperman and started working in a pressroom when he was nine. He worked his way through college as a press operator for newspapers in New Mexico and Wyoming before spending five years with United Press, mainly covering the Far East and Middle East.

Bert Goldwater

Bertram Mortimer (Bert) Goldwater lived most of his life in Reno as a criminal and civil lawyer. He was a passionate defender of civil liberties and served as first chairman of Nevada's Equal Rights Commission. For many years he was a United States bankruptcy judge–a position held until his death at the age of 91.

Barbara Vucanovich

Congresswoman Barbara Vucanovich was elected in 1982 to represent Nevada's Second Congressional District. She retired in 1996 after seven terms, having served the second longest term of any Nevadan in the U.S. House of Representatives. (Walter Baring served ten non-consecutive terms). Vucanovich was the first woman elected to represent Nevada in Congress.

White Pine County Courthouse

Created in 1869, White Pine County's government seat was originally located in Hamilton. A 40-by-60-foot brick courthouse was built in 1870 for $55,000. The building served the county until it burned down in 1885. Previous quarrels over relocation of the county seat raised suspicions of arson.

William A. Clark

William Andrews Clark, a one-time United States senator and railroad magnate, is the namesake for Clark County in recognition of the rail line he owned and built that extended through the Las Vegas Valley, and the 1905 land auction that is considered the birth of Las Vegas.

William Chapman Ralston

William Ralston was a California investor who assembled the means to monopolize the Comstock Lode during the 1860s. Born in Ohio in 1826, Ralston moved to San Francisco in 1854 and became a rising star as part owner in a steamship company. Beginning in 1860, he turned his attention and his investments to Comstock mines.

William Nellis

Born in Santa Rita, New Mexico, in 1916, William H. Nellis moved to the town of Searchlight as a child. His father was a miner, and his grandmother ran a boarding house. He moved to Las Vegas as a teenager, attending Las Vegas High School. Later he went to work for the railroad, as many local boys did in the years before World War II.

William Sharon

William Sharon played an important role in early Nevada. Born in Ohio on January 9, 1821, he practiced law in St. Louis then pursued business in Illinois. With the 1849 Gold Rush, Sharon traveled to California where he engaged in business and real estate, but he lost his earnings in stock speculation.


The site of modern-day Winnemucca has been important to Nevada since the first explorers traversed the region in the late 1820s. It later became a critical place for early settlers, and marked the point at which the immigrant trail headed south toward the Sierra Nevada passes. Winnemucca became a major distribution point for the Central Pacific Railroad, established itself as the center of commerce in north-central Nevada, and was the site of a major bank robbery that remains controversial to this day.


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