Elect Sam Toll For County Commissioner
Storey County Republicans Endorse Candidate

Storey County Republicans Endorse Candidate

Republicans Meet In Lockwood to Consider Endorsement Of Local Candidates

On Monday, October 8th the Storey County Republican Central Committee met in Lockwood. There was a large gathering to hear from campaigns and candidates from all over Storey County. Folks from Mark Twain, Virginia City, The Highlands, and Lockwood came to participate.

The Heller, Laxalt, and Kencht campaigns sent representatives and provided updates on how the campaigns are going. The consistent message from the campaigns was about how important it was to get out the vote. During every election cycle, the parties all emphasize how critical this election is. They all spoke of the importance of getting out the vote this election cycle.

State and National Candidates Present Update

Dean Heller’s representative talked about the momentum they are seeing in Washoe County and across the rural counties. Heller seems to be polling well and people are seeing his actions in the past couple of months as positive. With the stark contrast between Heller and Rosen, voters should have an easy job deciding which candidate aligns with their views.

Storey County Republicans Endorse Candidate
Laxalt’s field representative addresses Storey County Republicans.

Laxalt’s campaign was similarly upbeat. His representative focused on the notion that if Sisolak is elected he will sign 40+ bills that Laxalt would veto. These bills would further an agenda that Laxalt thinks would not put forth the values held by many folks in the rural counties. Laxalt’s campaign appears to be holding its own, although I think folks wish he was a more dynamic personality. The turnout at the Basque Fry was impressive and he is raising funds to fight what Lance Gilman and other big business interests are throwing Sisolak’s way.

Storey County Republicans Endorse Candidate
James Smack fires up the group with his energetic delivery.

Ron Knecht’s Deputy Director James Smack gave the most energetic delivery of the evening talking about how critical this election cycle is and how important it is to vote the party ticket. Ron Knecht has returned several million dollars to the general fund by spending less in the first year of his tenure than his predecessor asked for and then by not asking for as much in future budget cycles. The Controller’s office prints a “State of the Economy” booklet every year and it reveals what everyone knows but nobody (except Knecht) is talking about: Nevada does not have a revenue problem, it has a spending problem.

So true, here, there and everywhere in Government…

Local Candidate Address The Group

After the big guns fired away, the local candidates took center stage. Present were Commissioner candidates Nicole Barde (Non-Partisan challenger) and Jay Carmona (Republican challenger). Also present were School Board Candidates  Fire Chief Jeff Nevin (Republican incumbent) and Storey Teller editor Sam Toll (Libertarian challenger).

All were present seeking the central committee’s endorsement. Due to the Storey County Republican Central Committee bylaws, Nicole Barde could not leave with an endorsement because she running in a partisan race and is not a Republican. The School Board Seat is non-partisan so they can award the nomination to a non-Republican if they so choose.

These are the rules that governed the selection process:

In partisan contests, the SCRCC will conform with State Party rules, custom and tradition and will only endorse registered Republican candidates. In non-partisan contests, any candidate may be endorsed.

All candidates under consideration for endorsement will be excused during other Candidate Presentations and the duration of member deliberations. Member candidates will retain voting privileges.

A 2/3 vote of members present is required for endorsement.

Member vote for endorsement will be by secret ballot.

At the duly called Regular Meeting the members will consider candidate endorsements by the following process:

  1. Candidate Presentations – 3 min each
  2. Member Questions after each Candidate Presentation
  3. Member Deliberation after all Candidate Presentations are complete
  4. Vote

Only endorsements will be communicated – vote totals will be held in strictest confidentiality by all members and are not to be made public.

School Board

Sam Toll presented first and talked about his background and shared why he is running. Toll explained “I am running for School Board because I am worried about our country’s future. We make kids take calculus but they leave High School not being able to balance a checkbook or understanding how credit cards are dangerous. We need to prepare our young adults how to navigate the world that awaits them.”

He also talked about leveraging his 30 years in tech to forge relationships with tech companies at TRIC to benefit our students.

Toll was asked several questions including his thoughts on common core, his experience and how he would leverage the companies at TRIC to actually kick down, which he answered in detail.

Jeff Nevin was next. He talked about his background as a Nevada native and fifth-generation Nevadan. Nevin was appointed to the School Board in 2012 and elected in 2014. He is the board chair and has focused on safety among other things during his tenure as chair.

Nevin talked about the great work Superintendent Todd Hess has done and what a difference his hiring has made for the county. Hess has secured many grants including funding for Google Chromebook distribution to the students.

He was also asked about his thoughts on common core and how he might get things from the tech companies at TRIC.

County Commissioner

Next up was Nicole Barde. Although she could not get the endorsement from the committee, she felt it was necessary to address the group and ask “If I was a Republican, would you endorse me?” She went on to share how her values align directly with the Storey County Republican platform. “I am a fiscal conservative, I believe in small government and I carry,” she shared with the crowd.

She went on to discuss how she worked Intel as they grew in Oregon and New Mexico like companies have at TRIC. Sitting on the other side of the table, she suggested her experience with Intel would help her when the county negotiates with future companies.

She was asked about her experience with budgets and governance, her alignment with the Republican ideals and what values she holds dear that are not aligned with the Republican platform.

Last up was Jay Carmona. Jay addressed the group and shared his background, work experience and what he hopes to accomplish as the next Storey County Commissioner.

Carmona explained that as President of the One-Acre Home Owners Association in the Virginia Highlands he has dealt with the county and the residents and has been both busy and effective as the liaison between the county and the community. His experience with the HOA’s $200,000 budget will help him in dealing with the county budget if elected.

During the question and answer section, he defended his position of focusing on gaming to increase visitors and revenues and suggested that budgets are budgets whether they have 6 or 8 figures.

Endorsement Voting

After the candidates presented, they all went outside and waited for the deliberation and vote. The Candidates returned to the room after 45 minutes of deliberation.

Commission Candidate Nicole Barde could not be endorsed because she is not a Republican and was not endorsed. As a Republican, Jay Carmona could have been endorsed but failed to get 2/3rds of the votes to earn the endorsement.  Similarly, Republican incumbent Jeff Nevin failed to get 2/3rds of the voters present.

The lone candidate to earn an endorsement from the Storey County Republican Committee was a stunned Sam Toll. Although he is not a Republican, he was able to convince at least 2/3rd of the folks present he is the right person for the seat.

The Kavanaugh confirmation process showed America just how divided and partisan we have become. Storey County Republicans showed they are not cut from that cloth and are able to see through partisan blinders to identify the right person for the job regardless of party affiliation.

Early Voting is just around the corner.

Do your research and vote wisely.

Full disclosure: as the story states, I am running for Storey County School Board. I also endorse and support Nicole Barde for County Commissioner.

Elect Sam Toll For County Commissioner

About Sam Toll

Sam Toll is a native of Gold Hill and returned home in 2016 after 35 years in the Sacramento Valley. He enjoys old cars and loud music. And writing.

Check Also

Will Special Interests Control Storey County for the Next Four Years?

Special Interest Money Dominates Storey County Commissioner Races As the first weekend of early voting …


  1. Not mentioned in the article was the excellent management of the meeting by Chairman, Jim Hindle. Days before the meeting, all Central Committee members were emailed endorsement requests by candidates, accompanying material they wished to share, the County Platform, and the section of the By Laws that pertained to endorsements.

    Hindle reiterated the rules for endorsement and the rules for how the endorsement portion of the meeting would be conducted, several times so that there would be no confusion. Each candidate was treated with complete impartiality.

    It is to Hindle’s credit that the Storey County Republican Party has such well-supported events and well-attended meetings.

  2. Sorry I did not attend the meeting. Congrats to the Central Committee on a well conducted forum and excellent endorsement selection. Ya done good.

  3. As a mother of a son who has gone from middle school through sophomore year at VCMS, and VCHS, I can say we never had any issues until Mr. Hess was principal of the high school.
    Those Google Chrome books? My son was accused of stealing one from a class, with no reason or validation. Was made to dump his backpack out in the middle of the hallway, on demand, by Mr. Hess, in front of everyone.
    My son has never stolen a thing in his life, never been in trouble at school or with the law before. He was singled out, he and I believe, because instead of a cowboy hat and boots, he has a ponytail and wears tie dye. He was singled out by Mr. Hess before that, and I am sorry I didn’t pay attention to his complaints before, wrote it off as teenage boy not getting along with new principal, as he loved the principal before.
    I had my own dealings with Mr. Hess towards the end of that school year, he had basically written my child off because he was different, and also struggles with dyslexia. His grades aren’t the greatest in English, or classes that require a lot of reading, although he always at least made C’s and has been top of his class since 5th grade in math classes. He ended up the last 3 months in VCHS online school, in short. The process of getting there was heartbreaking to both of us, and Mr. Hess, quite frankly, was an asshole throughout it, to me.
    I would never support anyone who supports him.
    My son is now enrolled at ACE High school, now in his senior year. I’m actually grateful now that something got us out of the VCHS rut. He’s earning dual credits towards TMCCs AAS degrees in diesel mechanics and construction trades. He’s already gotten 6 job offers, and many other paid apprenticeship offers just for being a dedicated student there.
    So, the flip side of my comment here is that I am fully endorsing you, Mr. Toll. You have hopes and dreams for our kids, and will hopefully bring some new ideas to the table in terms of partnerships with hiring companies, and getting our kids to not only think about the future, but learn how to navigate it as well.

    • Kirsten, thank you for your kind words and endorsement.
      You are not the first person to come forth with this kind of story. I am disturbed by them and promise you that one of my underlying focuses is to fight the culture of thuggery that exists in many places of Storey County.
      Your son’s experience is not unfamiliar to me and takes me back 45 years to my time in the Storey County School system. After years of bullying, I got my ass kicked on center stage at school in Virginia City. Hugh Gallagher and all the teachers let Goober Del Carlo wail on me until he got tired. I walked home and never set foot in a Storey County School again. I literally hitchhiked to High School in Carson City for my first two years because I refused to be bullied.
      I am happy for your son and delighted that he is ready to fast track his career as using his hands in a way that will help build our country.
      Thank you for your support and please talk with other voters about the kind of change we need at all levels of our County. Electing Nicole Barde and me will be two amazing steps to change the culture of our county in ways that will be meaningful for #2 buzzcut cowboy-booted kids and longhaired tie-dyed kids (and their parents) alike.
      Personally, I like both cowboy boots and long hair. 😀

If you have something to say, say it here!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: