Nevada GOP picks Amodei as new chairman

The Nevada Republican Party elected Sen. Mark Amodei as its new chairman Saturday night.

As head of the party, Amodei will have a big job taking over in an election year as the party has been struggling, split by conservative factions such as Tea Party movement members. It also has been having a tough time raising money to help candidates.

Amodei, a Carson City senator who was termed out this year, had dropped out of the U.S. Senate race after his campaign stalled in the crowded field of a dozen contenders vying to take on Democratic incumbent Sen. Harry Reid in the fall general election.

So Amodei was looking for a way to stay involved in politics.

“This has been a very humbling experience,” Sen. Amodei said in a statement. “I appreciate the support from around the state and am looking forward to gathering a great staff, great county organizations and great Nevadans so our voices can make a difference in November.”

Ciara Matthews, communications director for the Nevada Republican Party, praised Amodei for his “proven record of leadership in the Nevada Legislature."

"We are confident he will continue to deliver for the citizens of Nevada as Nevada Republican Party Chairman,” Matthews said in announcing his election.

Amodei was elected during a central committee meeting in Reno by a 218 to 54 vote, according to the Nevada News Bureau.

Amodei replaces Chris Comfort who recently resigned, citing family reasons but after a tumultuous time leading the party for half a year. Comfort took over after Sue Lowden quit as chairwoman to seek the GOP nomination for the U.S. Senate.