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Birthdate: June 2, 1968
Birth Place: Reno, NV, United States
Residence: Las Vegas, NV
John Oceguera was born in Reno, Nev., and raised in Fallon, a small farming and military town 60 miles east of Reno. He resides in Las Vegas. He earned associate degrees from Western Nevada College and Truckee Meadows Community College, a bachelor's from Cogswell Polytechnical College and a master's and a law degree from the University of Nevada-Las Vegas.
Oceguera was a firefighter at the Naval Air Station in Fallon before he moved to southern Nevada and joined the North Las Vegas Fire Department in 1991. He rose through the ranks to assistant chief, a position he held when he retired in 2011.
He was elected to the Nevada Assembly in 2000 and was speaker during the 2011 legislative session. He was prohibited by term limits from seeking re-election and in 2012 filed to run for Nevada's 3rd Congressional District seat.
Oceguera and his wife, Janie, have two children.
John Oceguera was elected to the Nevada Assembly in 2000. He served 12 years, rising to Assembly speaker in 2011 before term limits prevented his re-election. In 2012 he set his sights on higher office, hoping to replace incumbent Republican Rep. Joe Heck representing Nevada's 3rd Congressional District.
The race between Oceguera and Heck has drawn the attention of national Democratic Party leaders. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in January 2012 tapped Oceguera's campaign for the national group's "red-to-blue" program, which highlights top Democratic campaigns across the country and provides financial and other support.
In his congressional campaign, Oceguera has tried to paint Heck as beholden to the tea party and special interests. After the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the 2010 health care reform bill in June 2012, Oceguera said it was time Congress "moved on."
On immigration reform, Oceguera said he was "encouraged" in 2012 when the Supreme Court struck down most of Arizona's tough immigration law, and blamed Heck and Republicans for not doing their job by tackling the issue. He supported President Barack Obama's announcement in 2012 that the Obama administration would not deport some young undocumented immigrants. Oceguera said the policy was a "clear step" toward overall reform.
During the 2011 legislative session, Oceguera backed a bipartisan bill to overhaul Nevada's economic development efforts.
He drew criticism and a grade of "D" on a legislative report card from the state teachers union for his co-sponsorship of an education reform package making it easier to fire underperforming teachers.
A career firefighter who rose to assistant chief of the North Las Vegas Fire Department, Oceguera came under fire by a conservative group who accused him of taking both his legislative and firefighter pay during the 2009 and 2011 legislative sessions. The Nevada Legislature meets for 120 days in odd-numbered years. Department officials said Oceguera worked a regular administrative shift each week during the session, then used vacation time and a furlough day.
Before the start of his last session in the Nevada Legislature, Oceguera was criticized for authorizing the purchase of $30,000 in exercise equipment for the use of lawmakers and staff.
Source: Associated Press
113th Congress on Twitter
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