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The Gaming Hall of Fame

2012 Inductee

Senator William J. Raggio, Jr

Charlie Palmer--credit Bill Milne

Industry Leader


Senator William J. Raggio, Jr. (1926-2012) has been called one of the greatest statesmen in Nevada history and one of the state’s transformative politicians. He served in the Nevada State Senate for 38 years and as Senate Majority leader for 18 of those. Sen. Raggio was known for his ability to compromise in order to get important legislative work done.

Many have recalled that his political tool box included wit, intelligence, cunning and a mastery of political strategy, which he used to fight for Nevadans across the state.

His legislative service includes: Nevada Senate, 1973-2005-—eight special and seventeen regular sessions (longest Senate service in Nevada history); Senate Majority Floor Leader, 1987-1989, 1993-2005; Senate Minority Floor Leader, 1977-1979, 1983-1986, 1991. Legislative Commission: Alternate, 1985-1988, 1991-1993; Member, 1973-1975, 1977-1979. Interim Finance Committee: Member, 1985-1986, 1991-1992; Vice Chairman, 1987-1988, 1995-1996, 1999-2000, 2003-2004; Chairman, 1988-1990, 1993-1994, 1997-1998, 2001-2002; Chairman, Senate Committee on Finance, 1987-1989, 1993-2005; Chairman, Legislative Committee on Education, 1997-1999, 2001-2003.

Prior to his time in the State Senate, Sen. Raggio served as district attorney in Washoe County from 1958-1970. He was named “Outstanding Prosecutor in the United States” in 1965 and was elected president of the National District Attorneys Association in 1967. He also was a gaming lawyer; senior partner at Jones Vargas Law Firm in Reno/Las Vegas; a member of the Board of Trustees of the E.L. Wiegand Foundation and a trustee of the University of Nevada, Reno Foundation. Sen. Raggio passed away in February 2012.


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Last modified Friday, 08-Apr-2022 11:31:07 PDT



This page last updated Friday, 08-Apr-2022 11:31:07 PDT .