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.
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.
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:
- Candidate Presentations – 3 min each
- Member Questions after each Candidate Presentation
- Member Deliberation after all Candidate Presentations are complete
Only endorsements will be communicated – vote totals will be held in strictest confidentiality by all members and are not to be made public.
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.
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.
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.