By Mark Waite and Bill Roberts
The Republican Party in Nye County is coming apart at the seams, or a least it seemed that way at the party’s convention in Tonopah this weekend.
Nye County Republican Party Central Committee Chairman Fely Quitevis said she is planning to file a complaint with the state Republican Party over alternate delegates who weren’t seated at the convention.
Party officials looked for possible alternates living in precincts that didn’t have delegates at the convention, Quitevis said. In the Winery precinct, nine delegates were elected at the Republican caucus but none were in attendance Saturday, she said.
Nevada Revised Statutes require the Republican Party Central Committee to appoint a delegate if there is a vacancy, but convention organizers refused to seat them, Quitevis said.
Out of 243 delegates only 155 were seated, she said.
Quitevis said she left the convention early out of fear — many of the party faithful were packing pistols. She said she also left after Pahrump resident Andy Alberti, a candidate for Nye County commissioner, was named convention chairman.
Quitevis said she had received a death threat on her voice mail telling her to go to a foreign country or the callers would make her life miserable –she suspected the caller was in the audience.
Speaking of the audience, Quitevis said, “They were rowdy, unruly and they harassed some of the delegates.”
Quitevis said a Filipino in attendance was asked for her driver’s license.
“I’m beginning to believe they are racist. They are after me because I’m a Filipino,” she said.
If there was a violation of the law, NRS 293.137, Quitevis said the convention will be null and void. She pledged to get letters from people who were harassed at the convention.
Despite the rowdiness, several office seekers were allowed to briefly lay out their ideas. Candidates were told to limit their remarks to five minutes. So the half-dozen or so candidates could do little more than introduce themselves and give a general overview of their platform.
And because they were only given time to speak during the convention’s lunch recess, they were speaking to only a small percentage of the delegates, alternates and observers who packed the room during the morning session.
Four candidates for the GOP nod in the U. S. Congressional District Four race made presentations.
Barbara Cegavske has served in the Nevada Senate since 2003, was an assemblyman from 1997-2001 and lists her occupation as a consultant.
She said it is imperative that Republicans win the seat and blasted the only Democrat in the race saying, “You don’t want Horsford.” She said the nine GOP candidates are “all in the race for the right reason” and the party must support its primary winner.
Kiran Hill spent most of the last 10 years in the Middle East, has worked for the Department of Defense and served with the U.S. Marine Corps.
He said he decided to run after becoming active in the GOP caucuses. He pledged never to vote for spending or tax increases, opposes foreign aid and says the right to bear arms is fundamental.
Dan Schwartz is a Las Vegas businessman who says he has “successfully managed small businesses for 25 years.”
He outlined his vision of the important aspects of American life which he said have been lost and said, “We have to get that back.” He pledged to live up to his billing as a constitutional conservative.
And Danny Tarkanian is a law school graduate and small business owner in Las Vegas. He also is involved with the Tarkanian Basketball Academy, a non-profit organization focused on working with at-risk youth.
As a lifetime Nevadan, he said he is worried about the direction of our country and is concerned for his children’s future, vowing to “shake up” Washington.
State Assembly minority leader Pete Goicoechea is unopposed in the primary election for state senate district 19, the sprawling district which covers the majority of Nevada geographically.
He said he is running on his record of opposing tax increases and favoring the downsizing of government. A third generation Nevada rancher, he said, “I’m here for you.”
Walt Grudzinski of Pahrump is a Republican candidate to replace retiring Ed Goedhart in Assembly District 36.
He is running on a platform of no new taxes, balanced budgets and improving Nevadans’ quality of life. He questioned why there is a great highway from Las Vegas to the Nye County line near Pahrump but the same quality does not continue once one enters this county.
And non-partisan Kimberly Wanker spoke to the group asking support for her retention as district judge in department one of the Fifth Judicial District, the nation’s third largest judicial district geographically.
An appointee by the governor to replace the late John Davis, she believes “if you do the crime, you do the time.” She outlined her service on the bench to date and said she is proud to have served previously overseeing drug courts, a system that she is espousing for Tonopah in the near future.