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Silver State Equality Endorses Seven Candidates Statewide
May 22, 2020 at 2:59 pm

May 22, 2020

CONTACT: Melissa Warren, Faiss Foley Warren for Silver State Equality
PHONE: (702) 528-6016/MOBILE: (702) 528-6016/EMAIL:

LAS VEGAS — Silver State Equality, Nevada’s leading statewide LGBTQ+ civil rights organization, today announced the endorsement of seven candidates statewide.

“Silver State Equality is on the ground working hard to help ensure the election of candidates who are dedicated in their fight for equality and the advancement of social justice for marginalized communities,” said André C. Wade, State Director, Silver State Equality. “Today, we are proud to endorse seven candidates who will advocate for our LGBTQ+ community and all Nevadans. We look forward to working alongside each of them in their commitment to fairness and moving equality forward.”

The following candidates have received endorsements from Silver State Equality:

Nevada State Senate, District 1: Pat Spearman
The first openly LGBTQ+ member of the Nevada State Senate, Spearman’s legacy for carrying the torch of equality permeates her entire life experience. As a member of the State Senate, she supported a constitutional amendment to make marriage equality; introduced an amendment to ban anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination; and convinced the state Assembly to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. As Chair of the Senate Health Committee, she worked to provide better care to children living with rare diseases, co-sponsored a bill that expanded reproductive health freedom in Nevada, and fought against GOP schemes to take away health insurance from millions of Americans.

Nevada State Assembly, District 8: Jason Frierson
A powerful voice for equality in the Nevada State Assembly, Frierson was first elected to the Assembly in 2010 and re-elected in 2013 and 2016. He has led the fight to pass such vital legislation as Nevada’s Foster Child Bill of Rights. As Speaker of the Nevada Assembly in 2017 and 2019, he advanced legislation and policies that protect women in the workplace; expanded clean and renewable energy; increased school funding; expanded access to the ballot box; restored voting rights to formerly incarcerated individuals; increased the state’s minimum wage, and protected families from unexpected surprise medical bills. Throughout his legal career, he has represented the indigent, served as a prosecutor of white-collar criminals and served as an agency attorney in protecting child abuse victims.

Nevada State Assembly, District 16: Cecelia Gonzalez
A dedicated public servant, educator, avid volunteer and activist, Gonzalez will be a voice for social justice in the Nevada State House. Her steadfast support for criminal justice reform includes the Mass Liberation Project. Passionate for being a voice for her community, she serves as the First Vice-Chair of the Asian American Pacific Islander Democratic Caucus. Over the last decade, Gonzalez has organized around interpersonal violence, women’s health, education and raising the minimum wage. If elected, Gonzalez will be a champion for all Nevadans, and especially the state most vulnerable and marginalized populations.

Nevada State Assembly, District 20: David Orentlicher
David Orentlicher is an educator, physician, attorney, and ethicist. Nationally recognized for his expertise in medical ethics and health policy, Orentlicher served as a health policy adviser for the presidential campaign of Barack Obama and worked on the health plan that eventually became the Affordable Care Act. While directing the medical ethics program at the American Medical Association, he drafted the AMA’s first ever Patients’ Bill of Rights. For six years, Orentlicher served in the Indiana House of Representatives earning respect on both sides of the aisle for his ability to find innovative solutions for the state’s pressing problems. He authored legislation to lower the cost of health care insurance, protect children from abuse or neglect, and increase funding for start-up companies so they can create new jobs.

Nevada State Assembly, District 40: Sherrie Scaffidi
Openly transgender, Scaffidi is a US Navy Seabee veteran, widower, and father of three grown children. She is the current president of PFLAG Carson Region, a board member of Transgender Allies Group, and a Nevada Veterans Advocate. Scaffidi has been a non-paid lobbyist for LGBTQ+ and women’s rights in Nevada for the past two legislative sessions and spends much of her time educating people on transgender issues, moderating groups that support LGBTQ individuals. She is an ardent supporter of healthcare for all; minimum wage increase; equal rights for women, immigrants, and LGBTQ+ individuals.

Nevada State Assembly, District 41: Sandra Jauregui
Jauregui is the first Latina to represent her district and a champion of common-sense gun reform as a Las Vegas shooting survivor. Throughout her career, she has worked tirelessly to expand access to affordable housing in Nevada. She is a proven leader who has pushed for greater economic opportunities for all Nevadans, and especially for those communities most at-risk. Over the years she has served as a staunch advocate for the LGBTQ+ community including serving on the policy committee of Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce Nevada. Jauregui will continue to be a powerful voice for LGBTQ+ people and marginalized communities.

Sparks City Council, Ward 1: Wendy Stolyarov
If elected, Stolyarov will be the first openly LGBTQ+ member of the Sparks City Council. By profession, Stolyarov is a government affairs and communications expert, working for responsible policy in Nevada on technology and workers’ rights, among other initiatives. In 2017, she worked for NARAL as a field organizer and as the Legislative Director in the Nevada Legislature for the Libertarian Party of Nevada during the 2017 Legislative Session, where she fought alongside the ACLU, the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada, NARAL, and other community organizations to advocate for progressive policies that improved the lives of regular Nevadans.

Names in bold indicate an openly LGBTQ+ candidate.

For a complete list of Silver State Equality’s 2020 endorsements, visit


As Nevada’s statewide LGBTQ+ civil rights organization, Silver State Equality brings the voices of LGBTQ+ people and allies to institutions of power in Nevada and throughout the U.S. Silver State Equality strives to create a world that is healthy, just and fully equal for all LGBTQ+ people. Silver State Equality is a Nevada-based program affiliated with and supported by Equality California and Equality California Institute, the nation’s largest statewide LGBTQ+ civil rights organization.  More information at

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