Eighteen Washoe County Republicans switched their voter registration to the Independent American Party last week, according to an IAP news release, though other reports put the number at 19. The news release said that “most of them” were members of the governing body of the Washoe Republican Party but did not specify exactly how many.

During the 2012 presidential campaign, the state Republican organization—taken over by the Ron Paul forces—was supplanted by an organization called Team Nevada formed to support Mitt Romney and other regular Republicans. The Washoe Republican Party subsequently informed the Federal Election Commission it had broken with the state party and would operate independently.

The Nevada Independent American Party is the entity that is known nationally as the American Independent Party, formed in 1968 as a vehicle for George Wallace's candidacy for president.

Washoe County, generally a Republican county in the last half century or so, is nearly tied in the most recent voter registration figures from the Nevada secretary of state's office. As of last month, there were 95,332 Republicans and 95,245 Democrats in the county. The IAP has 12,660. Barack Obama carried Washoe County over Mitt Romney 51 to 47 percent.