Clark County Republicans pick McKeon as their new chairman

Clark County Republicans voted Wednesday for a new chairman, choosing the GOP establishment pick David McKeon over Cindy Lake, a Ron Paul supporter who helped take over the organization last year.

The contentious election drew a lot of attention from more than 600 voting members of the county GOP, who decided the race that will determine the direction of state Republicans’ largest local party ahead of the 2014 elections.

McKeon won with 319 votes compared to 276 for Lake.

McKeon said he was pleased by the turnout, which showed GOP yearning for fresh leadership.

“I’m happy for the party,” McKeon said. “I’m happy that we had a great turnout. I’m going to start building this party up to start winning elections. … This is how the party should be working.”

He said he already had met with leaders in the Hispanic and Asian communities. He also said that he plans to work with Lake despite their differences.

Lake said she’s worried about the direction of the party, but wanted to stay involved.

“I plan on working with all of you, if you’ll have me,” Lake told the gathering.

The vote was taken by secret ballot, using 20 electronic machines from the county Elections Department. The chairman’s term lasts for two years.

In addressing the crowd, both candidates delivered similar messages, saying they wanted to elect Republicans and move the party forward.

Lake said that during her one year in office she had taken the party from being $83,000 in debt to $40,000 in the black. The party also registered 1,300 conservatives in targeted districts, she said.

She said her election last year proved there’s no GOP “war on women.”

Feelings were high in the room and someone yelled “liar!” when Lake said McKeon supports candidates who are for higher taxes, illegal immigration, job-killing policies and President Barack Obama’s health care reforms.

McKeon took a different tact, using a prop to demonstrate his GOP plans had substance.

 “I’ve been called a lot of names and one of them is ‘empty suit,’” he said, then dramatically dropped an empty suit to the convention hall floor. “Folks, that is an empty suit.”

He said the chairman’s job is to win elections.

“I’m a businessman and I know how to get the job done,” he said. “As a leader I know how to organize. I know how to raise money and that is what’s needed to restore respect and effectiveness to the Clark County Republican Party.”

During the course of the campaign, it turned ugly. McKeon’s opponents circulated documents about his messy divorce and custody battle for his two sons. His ex-wife accused him of physical abuse of herself and her children, which he denies.

In a sign of how bitter the election had become, former county Republican Party Chairman Dave Gibbs, who backed McKeon, left a “Dear Friends” letter denouncing the process on every one of the 870 chairs set up for the meeting.

“It’s pathetic what this race has become,” the letter said. “It is no longer about the direction of the CCRP; it’s about who is or who isn’t the sleaziest or meanest candidate. We long ago lost sight of what is important in this race.”

He said the race should be about expanding the party: “We need to add, not subtract.”

In 2012, the county GOP was shunned by state and national Republican leaders after Paul supporters took control of the local party and the Texas congressman ran for president. At the Republican National Convention, Paul backers defied the rules and voted for their man instead of Mitt Romney, who was picked to run against President Barack Obama.

Before Wednesday’s vote, the McKeon backers appeared more organized. Some wore white T-shirts that said in red letters, “Dave for Nevada.”

“I support Dave because he has a plan and Cindy hasn’t done a good job this past year,” said Art Gisi, vice president of the Grass Roots Tea Party of Nevada. “He has contacts and he knows how to raise money, which is what this party needs. She hasn’t demonstrated any success yet. She hasn’t done anything to bring people together.”

Randy Rose said he voted for Lake because she’s “very conservative” and she backs a proposed “fair tax” which would eliminate the 16th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution that created an income tax and replace it with a consumption tax instead.

Rose said he couldn’t support McKeon because he didn’t know him and the challenger only recently moved to Nevada from California. He said he had never seen McKeon at a central committee meeting until he decided to run.

“It’s like somebody just moved into town and wants to be mayor,” Rose said.

Rose said California transplants are “infiltrating the Republican Party” and McKeon might be one of them.

“The problem with our party is it has been leaning too far to the left because of the progressives,” he said.

The Republican Party has a big disadvantage in Nevada compared to the Democratic Party.

Registered Democrats far outnumber Republicans in Clark County and statewide.

As of the end of June, 268,053 Republicans were registered as active voters in the county compared to 404,737 Democrats, or 30 percent compared to 46 percent of the electorate.

A year ago, right before the primary election, 231,784 Republicans were registered to vote in the county, or 34 percent of the electorate, compared with 307,673 Democrats, or 44 percent.

Statewide, registered Democrats now hold an advantage over Republicans, 530,752 (42 percent) to 432,824 (34 percent).

The GOP infighting serves as just another distraction to the Republicans, who are trying to make up for lost ground over the past decade as U.S. Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., rebuilt the Democratic Party machine.

David Damore, a political science professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, said the election matters because if the state’s largest local party can’t get its act together, the party and Republican candidates will continue to suffer with no go-to organization to help their campaigns.

“Until you get some serious folks elected and getting involved and raising money, it’s still a little bit of a circus,” Damore said of the infighting. “It’s all about internal battles and that’s not good.”

Contact reporter Laura Myers at or 702-387-2919. Follow @lmyerslvrj on Twitter.

Clark County Schools announce random searches
Clark County School District middle and high school students will be subject to random searches for weapons under a new initiative to combat the wave of guns found on campus. (Amelia Pak-Harvey/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Ron Jeremy and Heidi Fleiss React to Dennis Hof's Death
Ron Jeremy and Heidi Fleiss speak about their friend and prominent brothel owner Dennis Hof's death at Dennis Hof's Love Ranch. (Benjamin Hager/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nevada brothel owner Dennis Hof has died
Nevada brothel owner and Republican candidate for Nevada State Assembly District 36, Dennis Hof has died. He was 72. Nye County Sherriff's office confirmed. Hof owned Love Ranch brothel, located in Crystal, Nevada.
Las Vegas police investigate suspicious package at shopping center
Las Vegas police evacuated a southeast valley shopping center at Flamingo and Sandhill roads early Tuesday morning while they investigated reports of a suspicious package. (Max Michor/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Las Vegas Metro hosts the K-9 Trials
The Las Vegas Metro K-9 Trials returns to the Orleans Arena to benefit the Friends For Las Vegas Police K-9 group.
Kingman residents love their little town
Residents of Kingman, Ariz. talk about how they ended up living in the Route 66 town, and what they love about their quiet community. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Service at Southern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery
Twelve unclaimed veterans are honored at Southern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Boulder City in Oct. 9, 2018. (Briana Erickson/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas house prices reach highest level in 11 years
Las Vegas house prices are rising But so is the amount of available homes on the market Still, properties priced below $300,000 are selling fast And September was the first time since June 2007 that the median house price reached the $300,000 mark Las Vegas home prices have been rising at one of the fastest rates in the country over the past year Recent data show the market is now less affordable than the national average
National Night Out
About 100 Summerlin residents gathered at Park Centre Dr. in Summerlin on Tuesday for National Night Out. Lt. Joshua Bitsko with Las Vegas Metro, played with 3-year-old David who was dressed as a police officer. Face painting, fire truck tours and more kept kids busy as parents roamed behind them. (Mia Sims/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Rural homeless issue comes to a head in Pahrump
On Sept. 12, Pahrump sheriff deputies told residents of a homeless encampment on private property that they had 15 minutes to vacate and grab their belongings. That decision might face some legal consequences. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Remembrance blood drive on October 1
A blood drive was held at the Las Vegas Convention Center on the one year anniversary of the Oct. 1 shooting. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Remembrance Lights memorial unveiled at St. Rose hospital
A dedication ceremony was held at St. Rose to unveil a memorial and to read the names of those who died on October 1, a year ago. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
1October Blood Drive Remembrance Wall
(Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
1October Blood Drive
Vitalent hosts a blood drive at the Las Vegas Convention Center on Monday, Oct. 1, 2018, the first anniversary of the Las Vegas shootings. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
1October sunrise remembrance ceremony in Las Vegas
Myanda Smith, sister of Las Vegas shooting victim Neysa Tonks, speaks at the sunrise remembrance ceremony at the Clark County Government Center in downtown Las Vegas, Monday, Oct. 1, 2018. (Chitose Suzuki/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
‪Gov. Brian Sandoval speaks to crowd at Oct. 1 sunrise remembrance ceremony ‬
‪Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval speaks to the crowd at the Oct. 1 sunrise remembrance ceremony ‬at the Clark County Government Center in downtown Las Vegas, Monday, Oct. 1, 2018. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Father of Route 91 Harvest festival shooting victim talks about college scholarship in his daughter's memory
Chris Davis, father of a Route 91 Harvest festival shooting victim, Neysa Tonks, talks about a college scholarship in his daughter's memory to assist the children of those who died in the shooting. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Oct. 1 survivor Malinda Baldridge talks about life after the shooting
Malinda Baldridge of Reno attended the Route 91 Harvest festival with her daughter, Breanna, 17, and was shot twice in the leg when the gunman fired on the crowd.
Route 91 survivor talks about lack of progress in gun legislation
Heather Gooze, a Route 91 survivor, talks about lack of progress in gun legislation since the Oct 1. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas/Review-Journal) @reviewjournal
Review held in death of man after encounter with Las Vegas police
The mother of Tashii Brown, who died after an encounter with Las Vegas police on the Strip, not satisfied after public review of evidence. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Clark County Museum opening "How We Mourned: Selected Artifacts from the October 1 Memorials"
The Clark County Museum is opening an exhibit "How We Mourned: Selected Artifacts from the October 1 Memorials" of items left to honor the victims killed in the Route 91 Harvest festival shooting. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Memorial service for former RJ lawyer Mark Hinueber
Mark Hinueber, the Review-Journal's former lawyer and defender of the First Amendment, died in Las Vegas on Aug. 23. Hinueber, who was 66, worked at the RJ and other newspapers for 42 years. On Saturday, his friends and family gathered for a memorial service.
Army veteran honored in Henderson event
Army Sgt. Adam Poppenhouse was honored by fellow veterans in an event hosted by a One Hero at a Time at the Henderson Events Center.
Michelle Obama and Keegan-Michael Key urge Nevadans to vote
Former first lady Michelle Obama and comedian Keegan-Michael Key urged Nevadans to vote at Chaparral High School in Las Vegas Sunday, Sep. 23, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Nevada Task Force One Cheers Golden Knights
Nevada Task Force One Cheers Golden Knights
1 dead, 1 wounded in North Las Vegas standoff
A woman was hospitalized with serious injuries on Thursday morning after being shot inside a North Las Vegas house. Police responded about 11 p.m. to a shooting at a home on the 5600 block of Tropic Breeze Street, near Ann Road and Bruce Street. The wounded woman, police believe, was shot by a man, who later barricaded himself inside the house. SWAT was called to assist, and when officers entered the house, they discovered the man dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Las Vegas Teen Makes Clothing Resale His Side Hustle
Las Vegas resident Reanu Elises, 18, started buying and selling streetwear online when he was a high school junior. Like many other young adults, the world of online resale applications like Depop and Mercari have made selling clothing online for a profit easy. Now, Elises spends his free time at thrift shops looking for rare and vintage clothing he can list on his on his shop. Now in his freshman year at UNLV as a business marketing major, Elises hopes to open a shop of his own one day and start his own clothing brand. He estimates that he's made about $1000 from just thrifted finds in the past year, which he'll use to buy more thrift clothing and help pay for expenses in college. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal) @MadelynGReese
Fruition Vineyards Encourages Young Entrepreneurs to "Buy, Flip, Dream"
Once a month, young adults gather at Fruition Vineyards on South Maryland Parkway near UNLV to dig through a stack of rare, vintage and designer clothing that's marked down well below it's resale value. Shop founder Valerie Julian began the vent, dubbed "Fruition Vineyards" in August after running her streetwear shop since 2005. The event gives young entrepreneurs the opportunity to "buy, flip, dream" according to Jean. Meaning that they're encouraged to buy the clothing for sale and find a way to resell it for a profit, then reinvest that into whatever dream they pursue: college, a hobby or their own resale business. Shoppers lined up starting an hour before noon on the last Saturday in April for the opportunity and spoke about what they hoped to do with their finds and profits. (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @MadelynGReese
Local man goes under cover searching for answers to homelessness
Licensed mental health therapist Sheldon Jacobs spent 48 hours under cover posing as a homeless man in an attempt to gain perspective on the complex issue.
Social Work UNLV Lecturer's Calling
Ivet Aldaba-Valera was the first person in her family to graduate from both high school and college. The 33-year-old UNLV lecturer is now pursuing her Ph. D in public policy at the school and has used her degree in social work to engage with the young Latino and Latina community of Las Vegas. (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @MadelynGReese
News Headlines
Local Spotlight
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like