GOP state central committee chooses Amodei

The GOP state central committee has spoken. In only one round of voting, Mark Amodei, the former state senator and past state party chair swept 221 of the 323 votes cast, decisively besting state Sen. Greg Brower and retired U.S. Navy Commander Kirk Lippold. In the race for state party chair, Amy Tarkanian was also selected by a wide margin.

Winning the central committee nomination was the easy part for Amodei. It still remains to be seen whether the Nevada Supreme Court will uphold the lower court’s ruling which would pit Republican Amodei against one Democrat, presumably Kate Marshall, in the upcoming September special election to fill the vacant house seat formerly occupied by Sen. Dean Heller. The Democrats will be holding their nominating meeting June 25.

“The three candidates for Congress offered a respectful, straightforward debate,” said executive committee member at large and local political activist Kim Bacchus. “Selecting Mark was not a matter of endorsing our past chairman. This was about selecting the candidate with the greatest amount of depth, the most useful, pertinent qualifications and most importantly, the one who can win the election.”

Washoe Republican chair and state party parliamentarian Ralph McMullen was pleased and encouraged by the results. “In the central committee vote, Amodei carried all three congressional districts,” he said. “Amodei comes across with a comfortable personality, and people connect with him. Mark has a human element that people can resonate with. I can’t wait to see him debate Kate Marshall.”

The race to succeed Amodei as state party chair showed some promise, as well. For years, the Nevada Republican Party has been racked with infighting and personal vendettas resulting in a deeply divided, disorganized and wholly ineffective organization that has failed in the recent past to do anything other than to provide fodder for the other side. Mark Amodei has moved them in the right direction during his tenure as party chair, and there is no doubt this will continue with the quiet grace of Amy Tarkanian as the face of a party born anew.

In a mature and classy move, state Sen. Greg Brower, R-Reno, decided to bow out of the race, citing the importance of getting behind one candidate. For this, Brower should be commended. The Democrats lust after their so-called “Ballot Royale” where any and all candidates will appear on the ballot to hopefully dilute the Republican vote and sneak Democrat Kate Marshall in under the radar. It is refreshing to see Brower putting a Republican victory over his personal career, and for this I offer my praises. Greg Brower is a fine man, and his future in Nevada politics shows much promise. Thank you, Sen. Brower.

Commander Kirk Lippold, however, has vowed to stay in the race if the Democrats get their preferred free-for-all election. Lippold has proven himself a smart campaigner, a strong fundraiser, and he also snagged several powerful endorsements. These factors didn’t translate into votes, however. Lippold came in a distant third behind the plucky Amodei and the highly polished Brower. I’ve had the pleasure of spending some time with Commander Lippold, and I would love to see him burnish his budding talents and put them to work for Nevada’s conservatives. Taking votes away from Amodei in the upcoming special election is not the way to do this. Republicans have a tough time in special elections as it is, and the Democrat’s best chance of capturing this seat is by splitting the vote. Commander Lippold: The Republicans like you, but now comes the time to do the right thing. Step aside. You may not completely agree with everything Mark Amodei has to say, but the stark reality is that if the September election becomes a Republican primary, Kate Marshall will win.