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James Hubert Bilbray Edit Profile

United States representative , judge , Lawyer , politician

James Hubert Bilbray, former United States Representative from Nevada, lawyer, consultant. Bar: Nevada 1965. Named Outstanding Alumnus University Nevada, Las Vegas, 1979, Man of Year American Diabetes Association, 1989, Man of Year Haddassah (Nevada), 1990.


Bilbray, James Hubert was born on May 19, 1938 in Las Vegas, Nevada, United States. Son of James A. and Ann E. (Miller) Bilbray.


Student, Brigham Young University, 1957—1958. Student, University Nevada, Las Vegas, 1958—1960. Bachelor, American University, 1962.

Juris Doctor, Washington College Law, 1964. Doctor of Laws (honorary), U Nevada Las Vegas, 2001.


He received a B.A. in government and public administration from American University in Washington, D.C., in 1962 and a J.D. from the Washington College of Law in 1964. He served in the Nevada Army National Guard from 1955 to 1956 and in the Nevada Army Reserves from 1957 to 1963. Bilbray practiced law and was deputy district attorney of Clark County, Nevada, from 1965 to 1967.

He was then chief legal counsel in the Clark County juvenile court from 1967 to 1968 and was an alternate municipal judge in Las Vegas from 1978 to 1980. He became licensed to practice law before the Nevada Gaming Commission and the Nevada Gaming Control Board in 1970. He successfully ran for the U.S. House of Representatives in 1986 for the seat being vacated by Harry Reid, who made a successful run for the U.S. Senate in the same election.

Bilbray appeared to be well on his way to reelection until news surfaced that reports surfaced that one of his aides stood to make a huge profit from lands legislation sponsored by Bilbray. After leaving Congress, Bilbray joined the law firm of Kummer, Kaempfer, Bonner and Renshaw as Of Counsel in 1996 where he has specialized in dealing with local, state and federal issues. In 2001, he received an honorary doctorate of laws from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas for his work in state and federal government.

He currently resides in Las Vegas. James H. Bilbray Elementary School in Las Vegas is named in his honor.


  • Bilbray won the primary and was expected to win the general election, but Baring surprised him by endorsing the Republican nominee, David Towell, who upset Bilbray in a close race.


A Democrat, he ran for the United States House of Representatives in 1972 against conservative incumbent Walter Baring, a fellow Democrat who was disliked by his party's establishment.


Member board regents University Nevada Systems, 1968—1972. Member National Council State Governments Commission on Arts and Historic Preservation. Member board visitors United States Air Force Academy, 1991—1993.

Member United States National Security Policy Board Advisory Committee, 2000—2001, California Nevada High Speed Train Commission, Base Closing and Rearmament Commission. Board governors United States Postal Systems, since 2006. Member Democratic National Committee, since 1996.

Nevada chairman Kerry for President, 2004. Member California-Nevada High Speed Train Commission, since 2005, United States Base Closing Commission, 2005. Member board governors United States Postal Service, since 2006.

Member Nevada State Bar Association, Clark County Bar Association, University Nevada-Las Vegas Alumni Association (president 1964-1969, Humanitarian of Year 1984), Rotary, Phi Alpha Delta, Sigma Chi, Knights of Columbus.


Married Michaelene Mercer, January 1960. Children: Bridget, Kevin, Erin, Shannon.

James A. Bilbray

Ann E. (Miller) Bilbray

Michaelene Mercer

Bridget Bilbray

Kevin Bilbray

Erin Bilbray

Shannon Bilbray