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April 24, 2014

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Pat Hickey, new Assembly minority leader, has hopes of bipartisanship

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Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

Assemblymen Pat Hickey smiles on the third day of the 2011 legislative session Wednesday, February 9, 2011 in Carson City.

Assembly Republicans, who trail by a 27-15 margin, formally chose Pat Hickey of Reno as minority leader for the 2013 Legislature, and he thinks there is a better chance of compromise with Democrats than in the 2011 Legislature.

He said he was "pleasantly surprised" at the selection by Democrats of Marilyn Kirkpatrick of Las Vegas as Assembly speaker.

He called her a "straight shooter" who is more concerned about solving the problems of the state than about partisanship.

The Republicans are willing to take a look at the antiquated tax structure and there may be some compromise, Hickey said. But he said he hoped the Democrats might compromise on such issues as construction defects and the public employees' collective bargaining law.

"The people are sick of partisanship," he said after the Friday caucus meeting.

Hickey, who was unopposed in the election, was one of the leaders in the campaign to elect more Republicans to the lower house but that came up short.

Cresent Hardy of Mesquite was selected by the caucus as assistant minority leader.

Lynn Stewart of Henderson was named minority whip for Southern Nevada and Tom Grady of Yerington was chosen as minority whip for the north.

A Republican source said the caucus discussed the case of Andrew Martin, a Democrat who won election over Republican Kelly Hurst in District 9 in Clark County. But the caucus did not take any action.

A district judge in Clark County ruled on the eve of the election that Martin did not live in his district and was ineligible for the office.

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