Kate was born Kathleen Soltero and grew up in working-class neighborhoods in San Francisco as the eldest of five children. Her dad held many jobs, from longshoreman to gas station attendant, postal worker to insurance salesman. Kate’s family knew hard times, but they never stopped believing in the opportunity to get to the middle class. Kate worked throughout high school and college, and earned a bachelor’s degree at the University of California, Berkeley, with the help of scholarships, Pell Grants, and student loans.
After two years in the Peace Corps teaching high school in Kenya, Kate returned to earn a law degree from Berkeley. Kate then chose public service in the U.S. Department of Justice. There she served with distinction, fighting white-collar crime and taking on big corporations.
Kate was recruited by Attorney General Frankie Sue Del Papa in 1997 to leave the Justice Department and come to Nevada and set up a state antitrust office. As a mother, she found Nevada a much better place to raise her children. As Nevada’s Senior Deputy Attorney General, she joined the multistate prosecution of a Toys ‘R’ Us price-fixing scheme and ensured that the merger of Lucky’s and Albertson grocery stores in Las Vegas didn’t lead to a loss of jobs.
Kate was elected Nevada’s State Treasurer in 2006, and re-elected in 2010. As Treasurer, she improved and implemented programs that saved millions in taxpayer dollars. She got rid of no-bid contracts and off-the-book payments, and reduced spending, making government more efficient and identifying innovative methods to increase economic development for businesses in Nevada. Even during the economic downturn in 2009, Kate successfully managed Nevada’s investments so that they earned money every single year.
Kate knows that a college education is the key rung on the ladder to the middle class for each generation. One of her proudest achievements as Treasurer was creating the College Kick Start. In the first statewide program of its kind, Kate partnered with local banks to fund college savings accounts for every kindergartner in Nevada—and she did it at no expense to the taxpayer.
Kate remarried in 2014, to Elliott Parker, an economics professor at University of Nevada, Reno. In 2016 they learned she had breast cancer. Though Kate always knew the importance of everybody having health insurance, her experience gave her a fresh appreciation of how overwhelming medical expenses could be, and how easily they could lead to bankruptcy or worse. Now cancer-free, the experience reminded Kate that many middle-class families are just one crisis away from financial ruin. She will fight to protect Nevadan’s health care as our Lieutenant Governor, and make sure that every family has access to the same benefits that she did.
Kate runs her own legal consulting business in Reno, serves on the Board of the United Way, and has taught business law part-time at the University of Nevada, Reno. Her daughters both graduated from Reno High School, and are now in college. She and Elliott have recently published a book on Nevada’s experience in the Great Recession.
Kate’s life has always been about public service and helping Nevada families who have pocketbook issues. She understands that hard work alone is not enough anymore, that the American Dream remains just out of reach for far too many. She passionately believes that Nevada families are working harder than ever before and they deserve a path to prosperity in our economy. As Lieutenant Governor, Kate will fight every day to ensure that working class isn’t second class.
On Sunday, October 1st, our state suffered the worst mass shooting in American history. While I’m infuriated by the inaction of our leaders in Washington to address the gun violence plaguing our country, we must come together and help our state heal from this senseless tragedy.