Smith for speaker?

Washoe County’s Assemblymember Debbie Smith, who chairs the Assembly budget committee, is being mentioned for speaker.

In January, when current Speaker John Oceguera—who is running for the U.S. House—steps down as chair of the Assembly Democratic Caucus, Smith could be elected by Democrats to replace him, making her speaker-designate if the Democrats keep their majority in the 2012 election.

Her handicaps include northern residence at time when most of the state lives in Clark County. For many years, small-county legislator Joe Dini kept the speakership out of contention between the two populous counties. Since he retired, every speaker has been from Clark.