Trump takes center stage as Nevada Republicans get ready for state convention

Nevada Republicans gather in Reno next weekend for a two-day state convention where they will elect delegates to attend the national convention in Cleveland this summer, vote on the party platform and endorse primary candidates.

Much of the anticipated drama has dissipated since Donald Trump emerged as the presumptive GOP presidential nominee. Trump won the Nevada caucus in February by double digits, receiving 46 percent of the vote.

Thirty Nevada delegates will be picked to go to the national convention in July.

Before his win in the Indiana primary on Tuesday that forced the exit from the race of U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, many state conventions were mired in grass-roots politics over picking second-round delegates should there be a contested convention.

While that is largely a non-issue now, controversy generally tends to percolate within the GOP, which has become increasingly fractured.

Incumbent Nevada legislators who voted for a $1.5 billion package of new or extended taxes approved by the 2015 Legislature are likely to receive condemnation.

It remains to be seen if the chaos that erupted at some county GOP functions will erupt at the state gathering.

The Clark County Republican convention held in early April ended with county party Chairman Ed Williams resigning amid an ethics complaint filed against him by the convention chairman over credit card rewards points.

In Northern Nevada, police were called after a recent meeting of the Washoe County Central Committee degenerated into a pushing and shoving match over the counting of ballots to elect members to the county and Nevada Republican Central Committee.

— Sandra Chereb

ANGLE WANTS TRUMP-CRUZ TICKET

Some Republicans are only grudgingly supporting Donald Trump as the billionaire businessman propels his way to the GOP nomination for president.

Not Sharron Angle, a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate.

Angle released an open letter to Trump and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas on Friday, urging the former Republican foes to unite with Cruz running as Trump’s vice presidential pick. Last week, Cruz and Ohio Gov. John Kasich dropped out of the Republican nomination contest, leaving Trump as the only GOP candidate left.

Angle said it would be a “winning combination for the 2016 election, and for America moving forward.”

In glowing terms, Angle pointed out what she believes both would bring to the race. For Trump, she listed “personal charisma, fiscal conservatism and a long history of business success.”

For Cruz, Angle wrote, the qualities include “unparalleled knowledge of the Constitution” and “social conservatism,” among others. Angle contends this would “combine Republican Party factions as a force for freedom.”

Trump won a straw poll in August conducted by the National Federation of Republican Assemblies, a grass-roots conservative organization that Angle has led. The organization went on to endorse Cruz before he dropped out.

Angle is running for the seat of outgoing U.S. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. Angle won the GOP nomination in 2010 for that same seat but lost to Reid in the general election.

U.S. Rep. Joe Heck, R-Nev., is also seeking the GOP nomination for the Senate seat. Heck’s campaign has said he’ll “support the Republican nominee” and focus on his own campaign.

— Ben Botkin

Contact Sandra Chereb at schereb@reviewjournal.com or 775-461-3821. Find @SandraChereb on Twitter. Contact Ben Botkin at bbotkin@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2904. Find @BenBotkin on Twitter.

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