Republicans name Nevada organizer to court Hispanic voters


The Republican National Committee this morning announced Nevada is among six states where the party is placing community organizers in a bid to boost GOP standing among Hispanic voters. The others states are Colorado, Florida, New Mexico, North Carolina and Virginia.

"We're going to engage Hispanics and Latinos like we have never done before at the RNC," chairman Reince Priebus said on a call with reporters. Priebus and other Republicans have made no secret they planned to beef up their presence in a handful of states where Hispanics figure to be a key demographic in November.

Elsa Barnhill will head the party's Hispanic outreach in Nevada, according to Bettina Inclan, RNC Hispanic outreach director. Barnhill worked for five years as a Las Vegas representative to former Sen. John Ensign. During the 2010 election season she coordinated Hispanic outreach for Rep. Joe Heck.

Most recently she worked for two months leading to the GOP state caucus in February as director of Hispanic Inclusion for presidential candidate Newt Gingrich.

"The RNC is going to be all in in Nevada," Priebus said.

The RNC's Hispanic outreach in Nevada is the first announced step in the national party's efforts to play hard this year in the Silver State,  regarded among a handful of true swing states for the presidency and control of the U.S. Senate.  The party is forming a "victory" organization in Nevada that will dispatch other strategists to the state, where Republicans locally have been in disarray.

Priebus said the national organization plans to work with the state party "arm in arm."

"That may mean hiring a whole lot of people to send out to Nevada and be helpful on the ground," Priebus said.  "We are committed to do whatever we have to do to make Nevada a success."