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As a Congress ends, it is a tradition for the Senate to pause for a moment to acknowledge and express our appreciation for the service of senators who will not be returning for the next Congress. Today I would like to pause in appreciation of the service of my friend and colleague Senator Dean Heller.

Dean will be leaving the Senate after 30 years of dedicated public service at both the state and federal level. During his time in Congress he always demonstrated a willingness to consider all viewpoints, while remaining true to the principles that guided his career in public service. It is safe to say that Dean’s commitment to Nevada is as strong as ever, and his unique perspective in areas critical to his state will surely be missed in the next Congress.      

Growing up in Carson City, Nevada, Dean earned a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Southern California in 1985. After working as a stockbroker in California, Dean moved back to Nevada and brought the skills he gained in the business realm to the public sector when he became the deputy state treasurer for Nevada.

Learning about Dean’s time as a Nevada assemblyman was something I appreciated because of my time in the Wyoming Legislature. Dean’s hard work led him to become Nevada’s secretary of state for 11 years, then to the House of Representatives in 2006 and finally he joined the Senate in 2012.

His background in both the financial sector and public service was invaluable as a colleague on the Senate Finance Committee. As a former small business owner, I appreciated his expertise and business acumen as the committee considered complex and important issues like tax reform. Dean’s insightful perspectives and willingness to work with people on different sides on key issues will surely be missed by the committee moving forward.

It was a pleasure to work with a senator representing a state that shares so much with Wyoming. From the prominence of public lands, to welcoming visitors year-round to world class destinations, Nevada and Wyoming’s similarities afforded us the opportunity to collaborate on key issues important to the people of both states.

Dean’s dedication to Nevada ensured he was a strong voice for the people who lived there. I’m sure he will continue to use that voice to help others.

Diana joins in sending our best wishes and appreciation to Dean, his wife Lynne, and his four children for his dedication to this country and the state of Nevada. His effect on the Senate was profound and he certainly made a difference. We will always appreciate his service to the Senate and wish him the very best in whatever the future holds.