By Ashley Losoya
Lieutenant Governor Mark Hutchison is a third-generation Nevadan. After graduating from Bonanza High School, he earned a business administration degree from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and received his law degree, magna cum laude, from Brigham Young University. He is a business owner who built his law firm, Hutchison & Steffen, from the ground up starting in 1996, and it is now one of Nevada’s largest law firms. In 2014, while serving as State Senator, Hutchison won the general election to serve as Nevada’s 34th Lieutenant Governor. He dedicates his time in public office to promoting economic development, job growth, and Nevada’s world-class tourist destinations, along with supporting policies to strengthen families and improve educational opportunities for Nevada students. He and his wife Cary have six children and six grandchildren.
What do you consider to be your most important role as the Lieutenant Governor of Nevada?
Although this is a broad generalization, I believe most challenges that we face can be solved by two things: a good job and a strong family. With that in mind, I have supported and will continue to pursue policies and legislation that enhance economic opportunities and prosperity for Nevadans and that strengthen their families. I want every Nevadan to have the chance to pursue the American Dream.
Have you seen that ‘pursuit of the American Dream’ play out in your own life?
Absolutely. My father and mother taught me to work hard from a young age and instilled in me the belief that if I set goals and worked hard I could achieve whatever I wanted to achieve. I began with a newspaper route at age 11. I then started working at age 12 at a local equipment rental company where my father was the general manager. I continued to work there through high school and college, which enabled me to go on to law school and move ahead professionally to provide for myself and my family. None of that would have been possible without the opportunities afforded to me by living in this country. If there’s one thing America should be—it’s the land of hope and opportunity, where everyone has the chance to succeed.
During your time in office, you’ve been vocal about one issue that is particularly close to your heart. Tell us about that.
I’ve had the privilege of traveling to Israel twice as an elected official, and I’m headed there again in the coming weeks. I was struck by the hospitality and warmth of the Israeli people. And, of course, Israel is the greatest ally America has in a very dangerous part of the world. During the 2017 legislative session, I was honored to introduce legislation against the growing Boycott, Divestment, and Sanction (BDS) campaign. I was thrilled when Senate Bill 26 passed last year, after months of hard work by many people and organizations that support Israel. This new anti-BDS law ensures that Nevada does not do business or invest with businesses that make economic decisions based on politics that discriminate against Israel. Nevada should undoubtedly be concerned with any company motivated by politics over legitimate business performance.
So what is your take on the recent move to declare Jerusalem as the capital of Israel?
I applaud and strongly support the decision to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem. Recently, I joined with many of my fellow Lt. Governors across the county to express this sentiment in a letter to President Trump. Israel is one of this country’s closest allies and friends, so I believe this is the right thing to do. Jerusalem has been and continues to be the epicenter of Israel’s cultural and religious history. This move simply acknowledges that truth and validates our Israeli partners.
Most people are aware by now that you’re not seeking re-election this year. How did you come to that decision?
Serving as the Lieutenant Governor of Nevada has been one of the greatest honors of my life. As a proud Nevadan, born and raised here, serving my constituents has been particularly meaningful and rewarding. But I have a large and growing family and large and growing law firm, which are both worthy of my attention. My six children have blessed me with six grandchildren—and another on the way— with many more to come! My firm, Hutchison & Steffen has recently expanded by adding two offices in northern Nevada. With those priorities in mind, I felt it best to forego another campaign in 2018 and possible term. So, I’m taking a pass on this election cycle but leaving open future possibilities.
Looking back on your time as Lt. Governor, would you encourage others to run for public office?
Definitely. We need more Nevadans to influence the political process. I often remind my friends and constituents, “You can ignore politics all you want, but politics will not ignore you.” I’d like to see more hardworking Silver State residents run for public office, whether it’s on the state, county or city level. If that’s too much of a commitment now, get involved in politics through lobbying, testifying at hearings, or meeting with elected representatives to tell them what’s going on in the community and what you expect them to do to improve the lives of Nevadans. There are endless possibilities to contribute and ensure your voice is heard.