Pat’s life story is one of service and dedication to her country.
After graduating college in 1977, she joined the United States Army, quickly moving up the ranks thanks to her courage and commitment. During her 29 years of service, she served in the Army Operations Center of the Pentagon, graduated from the prestigious Command and General Staff College, ascended to the rank of lieutenant colonel, received the highest title of honor bestowed by the Commonwealth of Kentucky, and chaired the advisory council of Texas Region 6 of the Department of Health and Human Services.
In 1991, Pat took her service to the field of education, winning a seat on the San Marcos Independent School District Board. Her commitment to serve and her dedication to education was not lost on her colleagues. Just six months after her election, they chose her to be President of the School Board. In her time there, she came to appreciate and understand the challenges that parents, teachers and administrators face in ensuring every child has access to public education.
“There will be battles to fight and hills to climb, but we are Nevadans, and we are battle-tested. We will not stop until this victory has been won. We shall overcome. We must overcome. We will overcome, because we're stronger together.”
— Pat Spearman
Always active in the Democratic Party, Pat organized for Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign. She helped him achieve a 12.5-point victory in Nevada - the state’s largest margin of victory in two decades. But having experienced first-hand the devastation caused by the Great Recession, Pat knew she needed to do more.
So with just a few months before the 2012 primary, Pat filed to run for Nevada’s 1st Senate District. Pundits predicted that the incumbent, an opponent of marriage equality and reproductive freedom, would cruise to re-election. But despite her opponent outspending her fifteen-to-one, Pat inspired a grassroots army of community groups and local leaders. On election day, to the shock of the establishment, Pat defeated the incumbent with 63% of the vote.
In her very first session, Pat was named Chair of the Legislative Operations and Elections Committee, and advanced key pieces of legislation regarding economic development, veterans’ affairs, equal rights, and healthcare. She sponsored a bill that passed the Legislature adding gender identity to the state hate crime law, finally giving transgender victims of hate crimes an opportunity to receive justice. She also supported a constitutional amendment for marriage equality, fought to ban anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination, introduced a resolution to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment, advocated for equal pay for equal work, and supported an assembly bill to extend voter registration that passed both chambers of the legislature.
After the 2016 Orlando nightclub mass shooting, the deadliest anti-LGBTQ+ hate crime in U.S. history, Pat organized a memorial ceremony at the Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Southern Nevada. The previous year, she had introduced a bill to prohibit domestic abusers and stalkers from gun ownership.
The national stage.
On July 25, 2016, Pat spoke at the Democratic National Convention, making history with a stirring speech about LGBTQ+ rights that solidified her as a rising star in the Democratic Party.
During her re-election campaign, Pat supported the successful ballot initiative to legalize marijuana. On election day, despite the disastrous results in the presidential race, Pat won re-election by a massive 30.8 point margin.
For over four decades, Pat has proven herself to be a dedicated public servant and a tireless advocate for progress and equality. Now, she is ready to take her leadership, dedication, and experience to Congress.