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Republican club leaders push to stop Nevada presidential caucus

Nevada Republican Club leaders urged members of the Nevada Republican Central Committee to vote against the Nevada GOP’s planned 2024 presidential caucus at the committee’s upcoming meeting Saturday in Winnemucca.

In a letter sent Friday to Republican county party chairs, the officers and directors of the nearly 400-member club expressed concerns about the Nevada Republican Party’s plans to hold a caucus alongside the legislatively mandated state-run primary.

The state-run presidential primary scheduled for Feb. 6 and the party-organized caucus planned for Feb. 8 will “frustrate, anger and confuse Nevada’s Republican voters, which will have negative impacts on our presidential candidates, our party in Nevada, and Nevada’s election process,” the club’s leaders — including President David Gibbs — wrote in the letter.

Nevada Republican Club letter by Jessica Hill on Scribd

“Overall, this process will hurt the Republican Party and our candidates in 2024,” the club leaders wrote. “Voters who participated in the primary will find that their votes didn’t count. The Nevada Republican Party will give average voters the impression they don’t care about them or their votes.”

Nevada Republican Party Chairman Michael McDonald said the caucus will protect Republicans’ right to select their presidential nominee. McDonald — who was one of the Republican electors who signed fake electoral certificates for Trump in 2020 and has echoed unsubstantiated claims of a stolen election — expressed concerns with the state-run primary process, such as universal mail ballots, no voter ID, as well as Nevada’s same-day voter registration that McDonald said allows for Democrats to switch to Republican and participate in the Republican primary.

For the legislatively mandated state-run primary, mail-in ballots will arrive around Jan. 15 with only the names of the presidential candidates who filed with the secretary of state’s office, the club leaders said in the letter.

Republican voters may or may not learn that they must attend the Feb. 8 caucus to be able to vote for their favorite candidate, the letter says, and they may decide to vote for a different candidate or skip the process altogether.

The winner of the state-run primary will be different from the winner of the caucus and could receive more votes than the winner of the caucus but will not matter, the Nevada Republican Club leaders said.

“The negative publicity from this will make the Republican Party look bad and likely diminish participation in the primary election,” the letter says.

The Nevada Republican Club also expressed concerns that the party’s plans to hold the caucus on Feb. 8 from 5 to 9 p.m. will limit voters’ participation, and the only provision for people to vote absentee is reserved for the military and their families. They also argue it will be difficult to get volunteers to work the locations in all 17 counties, and funds would be better spent on initiatives such as get-out-the-vote drives and voter registration.

The required fee for presidential candidates to participate in the caucus — $55,000 or $35,000 if they have an event with the Nevada GOP — will pay for the caucus, McDonald told the Review-Journal.

McDonald said the caucus is five months away, and voters have plenty of time to prepare. The party will send out messaging to Republicans to keep them informed about the caucus.

“The meeting is going to be putting all the cards on the table,” McDonald said.

Contact Jessica Hill at jehill@reviewjournal.com.

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