Friday, April 24, 1998 | 4:55 a.m.
Sandoval resigned his seat on Thursday to accept his appointment by Gov. Bob Miller to the Nevada Gaming Commission.
By law, no gaming commissioner can hold elected office.
Sandoval is replacing Deborah Griffin, who served two, four-year terms on the commission that is the final regulatory authority overseeing Nevada's gambling industry.
Sandoval is the seventh Republican of the 17 who served in the 1997 Legislature to decide not to seek re-election.
That presents an opportunity for Democats, who already hold 25 seats, to build a huge majority in the lower house in the November elections.
Sandoval, a Reno lawyer, graduated from Bishop Manogue High School and the University of Nevada, Reno. He received his law degree from Ohio State.
He served two terms in the Assembly, and served on the judiciary, taxation and natural resources committees.
He also has been heading a legislative study on the needs at Lake Tahoe.
"While I have mixed feelings over the necessity to resign as Assemblyman, I look forward to the challenge and opportunity to serve the state in the capacity of gaming commissioner," he said.
His appointment to the commission is for four years. The job pays $40,000 a year.
Other Republicans leaving the Assembly include Mark Amodei of Carson City and Jack Close of Las Vegas, who are seeking seats in the Senate.
Joan Lambert of Reno is retiring from her seat after 12 years.
Deanna Braunlin of Las Vegas and Pat Hickey of Reno both cited the financial hardships of service and personal demands as reasons for not seeking second terms.
And Pete Ernaut is foregoing re-election to manage Kenny Guinn's gubernatorial campaign and concentrate on his private business.
By contrast, no incumbent Democrats have announced plans to leave the Assembly, although there have questions whether Bob Price's health will allow him to return.
Price, of North Las Vegas, is one of the longest tenured members of the Assembly. He suffered a heart attack earlier this year but said he plans to run again.
Genie Ohrenschall of Las Vegas has announced plans to seek re-election, but was recently convicted of child neglect.