KPVM: Interview with Attorney General Candidate Wes Duncan
Wes Duncan is a determined leader whose desire to serve and keep his community safe has shaped his career in public service. Growing up from humble roots, Wes’s dad worked 42 years at United Parcel Service and his mom was a teacher’s assistant at his high school. However, both parents instilled strong values and the importance of working hard to achieve goals. After high school, Wes stayed home to attend community college and earned his AA and transferred two years later to U.C. Berkeley where he graduated with his degree in political science. Wes attended the Ohio State Moritz College of Law where he earned his law degree. After graduating from the Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, Wes answered the call to serve his country as an active duty Air Force Judge Advocate at Nellis Air Force Base where he was assigned to handle both prosecutorial and defense work. While on active duty, he deployed to the Middle East and worked at the Central Criminal Court of Iraq assisting Iraqis with the prosecution of extremist groups and terror suspects in Baghdad. Serving in Iraq not only sharpened his leadership skills, it also gave him a greater appreciation for the American justice system and the importance of the rule of law to protecting a nation’s citizens. After four and a half years of active duty service, Wes entered the Air Force reserves, passed the Nevada bar exam, and began working in private practice.
Wes is no stranger to a tough election. In 2012, he ran against a 10-year incumbent slated to become the Speaker of the Assembly. Despite being outspent 4-1, Wes pulled off an upset victory and won by 673 votes. He personally knocked on more than 20,000 doors making face to face connections with voters in his district and hearing their concerns. After his first Legislative session, having been voted freshman legislator of the year by the Las Vegas Review Journal, Wes joined the Clark County District Attorney’s Office. There, he once again demonstrated his commitment to protecting our community by handling criminal cases from preliminary hearings all the way through trial. Moreover, he honed his ability to work with law enforcement and victims of crime. In 2014, after being re-elected with over 61% of the vote, Wes was asked to serve the State in an exciting new capacity and resigned his Assembly seat to become Nevada’s First Assistant Attorney General.
As First Assistant Attorney General, Wes helped Attorney General Laxalt lead nearly 400 personnel in five different offices across the state. Not only passionate about advancing initiatives to help Nevadans, Wes enjoyed the challenge of motivating and leading others. Wes worked tirelessly on behalf of victims, law enforcement, and prosecutors. He advocated strongly for those groups while testifying before the Legislature and crafted legislation on behalf of the Attorney General’s Office. Wes served as vice chair of the Attorney General’s Sexual Assault Rape Kit Working Group where he was instrumental in crafting policies to eradicate the backlog of more than 8,000 rape kits. He also served as vice chair of the Attorney General’s Substance Abuse Working Group that works to develop policies to combat drug addiction. In September 2017, not wanting to run for public office as a state employee, Wes resigned his position at the Attorney General’s office and joined the law firm of Hutchison and Steffen as a partner.
Wes lives in Las Vegas with his wife Jennifer and their two sons, ages four and three. Wes met Jennifer while they were both serving at Nellis Air Force Base. Wes enjoys spending time with his family, reading and serving his local church.