Thalia Dondero, the first woman elected to the powerful Clark County Commission governing the Las Vegas area, has died.
She was 96.
The Clark County Coroner's office on Monday confirmed that the longtime Las Vegas leader and one-time commission chairwoman died Sunday of heart failure.
Dondero was first elected Clark County Commissioner in 1974 and served for more than two decades.
During her tenure, she oversaw a McCarran International Airport expansion and flood control projects.
She was also later elected to the Nevada System of Higher Education Board of Regents and served on the Las Vegas Valley Water District Board.
Upon notifications of Dondero's passing, elected officials and groups released the following statements:
From Senator Harry Reid:
“Thalia Dondero was a kind, thoughtful and charitable woman, and Nevada is better off because of her and her family. As the first woman elected to the Clark County Commission, Thalia was a pioneer who opened doors of opportunity for countless Nevada women. Her strength and dedication to public service stood as an inspiration, and her family continues to epitomize those values to this very day.
“From her tireless work to improve education for Nevada students, to her vital role in expanding southern Nevada’s economic and recreational offerings, Thalia was a one-of-a-kind advocate for the Silver State and its residents. The impact of Thalia’s work will continue to be felt for generations to come.
“I offer my condolences to her family and join my fellow Nevadans in mourning her passing.”
From Nevada Democrats:
“Thalia Dondero shattered one of our biggest glass ceilings here in Nevada when she was elected to the Clark County Commission. She was a trailblazer who inspired even more women to get involved in politics and paved the way for them to run for office. Thalia was a public servant through and through who spent her life working to make Southern Nevada a better place to live and raise a family, whether it was improving our higher education system, growing outdoor recreation opportunities or expanding tourism. She had a deep commitment to helping our kids succeed.
“Thalia was a good friend and one of the most generous people in our state, and I’m deeply saddened by her loss. We extend our deepest sympathies to her family today as we mourn the loss of a dedicated community leader.”
From Clark County Commission Chairman Steve Sisolak:
"Thalia was a trailblazer who cared deeply about this community and served it with distinction. She broke the glass ceiling and became the first female County commissioner and today a majority of our board is female. I had the pleasure of serving with her on the Board of Regents, where I always respected what she had to say. Las Vegas has lost one of its shining lights."
U.S. Representative Dina Titus:
“I've long known and respected Thalia, who broke so many glass ceilings in Nevada and always did it with style and grace. All public servants can learn from the example she set.”