101-Year-Old Legislator Urges Compromise

By: Joe Harrington Email
By: Joe Harrington Email

CARSON CITY -- The oldest legislator paid today's lawmakers a visit. Wilbur Faiss is 101 years old and served as a Democratic state senator in the 70s and 80s.

"The legislators are the most over-worked and underpaid in the state government," he said.

Faiss came to Nevada in 1944 and was a small business owner in what was then an unincorporated area of Clark County. He was also a volunteer firefighter and one of the first workers at the test site. He came to the Nevada State Legislature in 1976.

"Don't let the lobbyists sway you when you know they're wrong, that is a hard thing to do, but I can tell you I did it... I'm a lone wolf."

Faiss said he is especially proud to have voted for the federal Equal Rights Amendment in 1977. Today, he said the struggle for equality is not over.

"I hope to see the day when every American is guaranteed the fundamental rights," he said.

Faiss helped the measure clear the senate. It would die in the assembly, but he said it helped pave the way for many laws intended to prevent discrimination.

In addition to being a statesman, Faiss is known for having one of the longest marriages in America. He and his wife, Theresa, were married for seventy-nine years. She passed away at 97.

Faiss is a Democrat, his wife was a Republican.

Faiss met with President Barack Obama and told him how his marriage lasted so long: "I told him he knew the word as well as I did, it's compromise," Faiss said.

Faiss said legislators should also compromise. He said he hopes to pay the Nevada State Legislature another visit during the next session -- he will be 103.


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