UNITED STATES NEWS

Nevada must hold a GOP presidential primary, despite a party-run caucus occurring 2 days later

Oct 7, 2023, 2:53 PM

RENO, Nev. (AP) — The Nevada secretary of state’s office will hold a presidential primary for Republican voters, despite the Nevada GOP saying they’ll only honor the results of their party-run caucus to choose the Republican presidential nominee.

A second longshot Republican presidential candidate cast their name on the presidential primary ballot Friday, triggering a 2021 state law that requires the Nevada secretary of state’s office to hold a presidential primary for the party.

Two presidential nominating contests are now scheduled over the span of three days in February, which could result in widespread confusion for Republican voters.

“I don’t have the ability or the opportunity to determine which law or regulation I’m going to follow,” Nevada Secretary of State Cisco Aguilar said. “That’s not my job as a regulator.”

The Nevada Republican Party’s decision to hold a caucus in spite of the state law has elicited criticism — even from within its own ranks — stemming from potential voter confusion and concerns the state party is attempting to tilt the scale for former President Donald Trump over other candidates.

Still, the caucus rules were approved in a vote by the state party’s central committee members late last month.

One of the rules approved by the Nevada GOP bars any candidate from the Feb. 8 caucus if they participate in the Feb. 6 state-run primary, setting up an ultimatum of sorts for Republican candidates trying to decide between a primary that is purely symbolic or a caucus that many say is tilted toward Trump

Nevada GOP Chairman Michael McDonald, a fake elector in 2020 who tried to keep Trump in power after his election loss, has repeatedly defended the decision to run a caucus and maintained the rules were not set to benefit the former president. He also criticized lawmakers in Nevada’s Democratic-controlled Legislature for rejecting Republican Gov. Joe Lombardo’s proposed election laws, particularly one that requires proof of identification at the ballot box, instead of just when registering to vote.

“It gives each candidate the opportunity to perform. It’s about getting their people out,” McDonald said of the caucus in an interview after the state party approved the caucus rules last month. “… And my job, as well as my goal, is to have the candidates get to know all our counties.”

So far, Trump and businessman Vivek Ramaswamy are the only two debate-eligible candidates to commit to the caucus. The two Republicans so far on the primary ballot — Reno resident Heath Fulkerson and Texas resident John Castro — are unknowns. Castro has made some headlines for attempting to sue Trump to get his name off the primary ballots in several states, including Nevada, citing his role in the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. The Supreme Court said it will not take up the lawsuit at the federal level.

The rest of the campaigns have not announced which nominating contest they will participate in. But Never Back Down, a Super PAC supporting Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, pulled its door-knockers from Nevada and other states — a move that super PAC founder Ken Cuccinelli said was prompted by the Nevada GOP’s caucus plans.

The caucus also calls for voter ID, paper ballots and only same-day voting. Nevada’s election laws, used in the state-run primary, require universal mail-in ballots, early voting, same-day registration, and require an ID to register to vote, but not at the polls.

Aguilar’s office is launching a voter education project to inform voters interested in the presidential election. Still, he maintained that their outreach will strictly be about the presidential primary process his office is running, not the party-run caucus. He said caucus outreach is the job of the state party and the candidates opt for the caucus.

“If they determined this is the best interest of their party, that’s up to them,” Aguilar said. “It’s not up to me to have an opinion about it.”

___ Stern is a corps member for The Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms. Follow Stern on X, formerly Twitter: @gabestern326.

United States News

Boeing is now aiming for its first astronaut launch at the beginning of June. Officials for the com...

Associated Press

Boeing’s 1st astronaut flight now set for June after a review of small leak on new capsule

Boeing is now aiming for its first astronaut launch in early June, after spending weeks struggling with more problems on the space capsule.

7 hours ago

Associated Press

Lawsuit filed in the death of dancer with a peanut allergy who died after eating mislabeled cookie

WATERBURY, Conn. (AP) — The estate of a young dancer who died after eating a mislabeled cookie containing peanuts has filed a wrongful death lawsuit, claiming the failure to properly label the package was grossly negligent. Órla Ruth Baxendale, 25, died Jan. 11 after eating a Florentine cookie sold by grocery retailer Stew Leonard’s and […]

8 hours ago

Colorado River settlement center of new Navajo Nation push...

Associated Press

Tribes say their future is at stake as they push for Congress to consider Colorado River settlement

Navajo officials are celebrating the signing of legislation outlining a proposed Colorado River settlement that would ensure water rights.

9 hours ago

Associated Press

Lara Trump touts RNC changes and a 2024 presidential victory for Trump in North Carolina

GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) — To a room full of Republicans from across North Carolina on Friday, former President Donald Trump railed against the Biden administration and vowed to win in the state for a third time — all over a speaker phone call after his son Eric Trump dialed him on stage. “I just want […]

9 hours ago

Associated Press

Nevada voter ID initiative can appear on 2024 ballot with enough signatures, state high court says

ELKO, Nev. (AP) — An initiative that would amend the Nevada Constitution to require that voters show photo identification at the polls can appear on the 2024 ballot as long as organizers collect enough signatures, the state Supreme Court ruled Friday. Organizers must gather just over 100,000 valid signatures by June 26 for it to […]

9 hours ago

Associated Press

Florida priest accused of biting woman who grabbed Holy Communion wafers during Mass

ST. CLOUD, Fla. (AP) — The Diocese of Orlando is defending a Catholic priest accused of biting a woman who tried to grab Holy Communion wafers during Mass at a central Florida church. The confrontation occurred Sunday afternoon at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church in St. Cloud. Police have forwarded a report to prosecutors accusing […]

10 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s how to be worry-free when your A/C goes out in the middle of summer

PHOENIX -- As Arizona approaches another hot summer, Phoenix residents are likely to spend more time indoors.

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Beat the heat, ensure your AC unit is summer-ready

With temperatures starting to rise across the Valley, now is a great time to be sure your AC unit is ready to withstand the sweltering summer heat.

...

DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

Desert Institute for Spine Care is the place for weekend warriors to fix their back pain

Spring has sprung and nothing is better than March in Arizona. The temperatures are perfect and with the beautiful weather, Arizona has become a hotbed for hikers, runners, golfers, pickleball players and all types of weekend warriors.

Nevada must hold a GOP presidential primary, despite a party-run caucus occurring 2 days later