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Nevada > Statutes > Election of United States Senators and Representatives United States Senators

N.R.S. 304.030 – Governor to appoint qualified person upon vacancy in office

Overview of Statute

This section states that in the case of a vacancy in the office of United States Senator, the Governor may fill the vacancy by appointment.


In case of a vacancy in the office of United States Senator caused by death, resignation or otherwise, the Governor may appoint some qualified person to fill the vacancy, who shall hold office until the next general election and until his or her successor shall be elected and seated.

(Added to NRS by 1960, 281)

Definition [General election]

The election held pursuant to NRS 293.12755.

See Nev. Rev. Stat. § 293.060.

Definition [State]

A state of the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands or any territory or insular possession subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.

See Nev. Rev. Stat. § 293D.080.

Definition [Person]

1.  A natural person;

2.  Any form of business or social organization;

3.  Any nongovernmental legal entity, including, without limitation, a corporation, partnership, association, trust, unincorporated organization, labor union, committee for political action, political party and committee sponsored by a political party; or

4.  A government, governmental agency or political subdivision of a government.

See Nev. Rev. Stat. § 294A.009.


Nevada Cases

Case Name: Brown v. Georgetta

Citation: 70 Nev. 500, 275 P.2d 376

Year: 1954

Case URL:[...]

Case Summary:

  • Statute applicable when U.S. Senator dies after primary election and before general election.
  • No effect on  election when U.S. Senator died before general election and after absent voter ballots mailed.
  • Temporary appointment continues to the ensuing biennial election rather than the election at the expiration of the term.

Out-of-State Cases

Federal Cases

Regulations & Guidance

Attorney General's Opinions

  • AGO B-20 (1940) The death of an incumbent U.S. Senator after reelection but before the commencement of the new term creates two vacancies -- one for the remainder of the current term and another beginning on the first day of the new term. Such vacancies should be filled by appointments by the governor, the first such appointment being for the remainder of the unexpired term and the second for the period from the commencement of the new term until the next general election and the election and qualification of a successor.

  • AGO 350 (1954) The phrase "next general election" in NCL § 2593 (cf. NRS 304.030), when construed in conjunction with the U.S. 17th amendment, refers to the next ensuing general election held in the state, and not to the next general election at which a U.S. Senator would regularly be elected. Thus, a U.S. Senator appointed by the governor is authorized to serve only temporarily and until such election.

  • AGO 350(a) (1954) Where a vacancy occurs in a senatorial office, the candidate winning the next general election immediately qualifies to take such office regardless of whether Congress is in session or not.