Governor-elect Joe Lombardo announced Monday that former state senator and Nevada Gaming Commissioner Ben Kieckhefer will serve as his chief of staff.
“Ben has dedicated his life and career to the service of Nevadans, and there is no one more qualified or better prepared for this role,” Kieckhefer stated. “I know that Ben’s exceptional leadership, unmatched integrity and extensive legislative experience will be an important part of our success in Carson City.”
“I’m humbled by Governor-elect Lombardo’s trust in me, and I’m excited to have another opportunity to serve Nevada, a state I love so deeply,” Kieckhefer commented. “Under Governor-elect Lombardo, I’m confident that this administration will deliver innovative solutions and historic victories for our great state.”
Kieckhefer will resign from his current role in the Nevada Gaming Commission once Lombardo is sworn into office in January.
Kieckhefer served as a member of the Nevada State Senate for three terms representing District 16. He first took office in 2011 and went on to hold several leadership roles including assistant minority floor leader and assistant majority floor leader.
Kieckhefer and Sisolak (left & center).
During his time as a state lawmaker, he fought for an increase in parental choice in education and pushed for spending controls on state government. After leaving the statehouse, he was appointed to Nevada Gaming Commission in October 2021 by Governor Steve Sisolak.
He also served as former Nevada governor Jim Gibbon's communication director, and has worked for the Reno Gazette-Journal and the Associated Press covering politics.
During the 2019 session, Kieckhefer was instrumental in passing a bill that made it easier for the public to obtain records from government agencies, a legislation that was opposed by local governments in the state.
Kieckhefer was previously named as part of Lombardo’s transition team, which was announced earlier this month. The team is headed up by RedRock Strategies founder Ryan Erwin, who oversaw Lombardo’s campaign, and includes other business and government leaders. He also announced several working committees focused on areas including agriculture, ranching and mining and economic and workforce development.