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Why the power flows north

Every legislative session ends with chatter about the Great Power Divide between Northern and Southern Nevada, and the 2011 session is no different. The Reno Gazette Journal has a strong piece on one guy who helps keep the power flowing north: R&R's Pete Ernaut.

Ernaut -- according to some -- wields power on his own. His connections to Northern Nevada has helped the region maintain its influence in the 2011 Legislature and state politics in general. He has guided campaigns of two of the last three governors, including his old college friend, Sandoval. "It always helps having someone from the north with Pete's stature, the respect he is given and how close he has been with several governors and to the legislative leaders," said Tray Abney, director of government relations for the Northern Nevada Chamber of Commerce. "We are outnumbered. Two-thirds of the Legislature comes from elsewhere, and so it is always nice to have a Northern Nevada voice in the room when important decisions are made."

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As a longtime journalist in Southern Nevada, native Las Vegan Andrew Kiraly has served as a reporter covering topics as diverse as health, sports, politics, the gaming industry and conservation. He joined Desert Companion in 2010, where he has helped steward the magazine to become a vibrant monthly publication that has won numerous honors for its journalism, photography and design, including several Maggie Awards.