Nevada governor will lead Vegas shooting memorial effort

July 18, 2018
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FILE - In this Dec. 5, 2017, file photo, Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval speaks at the Governor's Global Tourism Summit in Las Vegas. Sandoval is being asked to serve as chairman of a committee to design, fund and build a memorial to the victims of the Oct. 1, 2017, attack on the Las Vegas Strip. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval agreed Wednesday to serve as the chairman of a committee to design, fund and build a memorial to the victims of the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

The Clark County Commission extended an offer to the outgoing governor on Tuesday to lead the effort to honor the victims and heroes who emerged from the Oct. 1 attack on the Las Vegas Strip.

The second-term Republican told Commission Chairman Steve Sisolak on Wednesday he is “humbled and honored to accept this role,” Sandoval’s spokeswoman Mary-Sarah Kinner said.

“As he’s said previously, the governor will never forget the events of Oct. 1 and he feels privileged to be asked to lead this committee,” she said in an email to The Associated Press.

Sisolak said before the commission agreed on Sandoval because he is a compassionate individual who listens to all sides, the Las Vegas Review-Journal first reported .

“He has a calmness about him that I think would be significant toward working to create something like this,” Sisolak said.

Other commissioners said Sandoval’s leadership would be conducive to a community-based approach to the memorial.

“There’s so many different constituencies involved in Oct. 1 that it can’t be perceived as the county or the city or one group,” Commissioner Larry Brown said. “He is the leader of the state of the Nevada, and it’s appropriate that he be the one to move this effort forward.”

High-stakes gambler Stephen Paddock opened fire last year from a Mandalay Bay hotel suite onto a country music festival below, killing 58 people and injuring hundreds more before killing himself.

County Chief Administrative Officer Les Lee Shell said she researched how memorials were created after mass attacks elsewhere in the country and that commissioners should be prepared for “a long process.”

“Some of them took five years,” she said. “Some of them took 10 years.”

Sisolak, a Democrat, is running against Republican Attorney General Adam Laxalt to succeed Sandoval, who is term limited and can’t seek re-election in the November race.