Pat Spearman

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Patricia Ann Spearman
Member of the Nevada Senate
from the 1st district
Assumed office
November 7, 2012
Preceded by John Lee
Personal details
Born 1955 (age 59–60)
Indianapolis, Indiana
Political party Democratic
Residence North Las Vegas, Nevada
Alma mater Norfolk State University and Episcopal Theological Seminary of the Southwest
Committees Legislative Operations and Elections (Chair)
Government Affairs (Vice Chair)
Transportation (Member)
Military service
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service 1977-2007
Rank Lieutenant Colonel
Unit Military Police Corps

Patricia Ann "Pat" Spearman is an American cleric, veteran and politician from North Las Vegas, Nevada. She was elected in 2012 to the District 1 seat in the Nevada Senate as the Democratic nominee after defeating incumbent John Jay Lee. No Republican had filed to run in District 1 which is a solidly Democratic district. Her general election challenger was Gregory Hughes from the Independent American Party, she won with 68% of the vote.

District 1 (map) is located entirely within Clark County. It is largely composed of the northern section of the city of North Las Vegas but also includes slivers of neighboring jurisdictions.

Early life and career[edit]

Born in 1955 in Indianapolis, Indiana,[1] Spearman earned a Bachelor of Science from Norfolk State University in Norfolk, Virginia before attending the Episcopal Theological Seminary of the Southwest in Austin, Texas, where she graduated with a Masters of Divinity. She is currently pursuing a PhD in business administration.[2]

Spearman spent 29 years in the United States Army, rising to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. She also served as faculty at the University of Louisville, where she was a lecturer in Pan American studies and director of the multicultural center between 2001 and 2005.[3]

She is the founding pastor of Resurrection Faith Community Ministries, a church in North Las Vegas.

Political career[edit]

Spearman was first elected to public office in May 1991, when she won a seat on the San Marcos Consolidated Independent School District in Texas.[4] She served one term on the board, during which she was elected board president. She did not seek re-election to a second term in 1994.[5]

In 2012, Spearman challenged two-term incumbent senator John Lee, a conservative Democrat who had attracted the ire of several traditional Democratic constituencies, including environmental groups and gay rights activists.[6] Those and other groups formed a progressive coalition in support of Spearman, mounting a vigorous campaign to defeat Lee in the Democratic primary.[7] Although Lee far outraised Spearman, the incumbent lost badly in the Democratic primary election held in June 2012, taking 37% of the vote to Spearman's 63%.[8]


Spearman is the first lesbian member of the Nevada Legislature.[9] State senator David Parks was previously the only openly LGBT senator in Nevada. She now serves as one of five openly LGBT legislators, alongside Parks, Sen. Kelvin Atkinson, Assemblyman James Healey and Assemblyman Andrew Martin.


  1. ^ "Nevada Senate: Sen. Patricia Spearman". 
  2. ^ "Patricia Spearman for Senate: About Patricia". Retrieved 2012-08-17. 
  3. ^ Vogel, Ed (2012-05-26). "'Professor' claim challenged in state Senate race". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved 2012-08-17. 
  4. ^ "Elections: Hays County". San Antonio Express-News. 1991-05-05. Retrieved 2012-08-17. 
  5. ^ MacCormack, Zeke (1994-05-05). "School board candidates in San Marcos talk issues". Austin American-Statesman. Retrieved 2012-08-17. 
  6. ^ Damon, Anjeanette (2012-06-13). "The left's Harry Reid-defying move pays off with surprise primary win". Las Vegas Sun. Retrieved 2012-08-17. 
  7. ^ Ralston, Jon (2012-05-17). "Progressives begin mail campaign against Democratic state senator, label him out-of-touch millionaire". Las Vegas Sun. Retrieved 2012-08-17. 
  8. ^ David McGrath Schwartz (2012-06-12). "Spearman ousts incumbent Lee in Democratic primary". Las Vegas Sun. 
  9. ^ "Stonewall Vice-Chair Pastor Patricia Spearman Wins Primary Making History!" (Press release). Nevada Stonewall Democrats. 2012-06-13. Retrieved 2012-08-17. 

External links[edit]