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GOP picks Amy Tarkanian as state party leader



SPARKS — Clark County resident Amy Tarkanian, the wife of former U.S. Senate candidate Danny Tarkanian, was elected state Republican Party chairwoman Saturday.

She drew 224 votes to Southern Nevada businessman Patrick McNaught’s 92 to succeed Mark Amodei as chairman of the state GOP.

In a speech, she vowed to increase Republican efforts to attract Hispanic and other minorities to join and participate in the party. None of the 27 Republicans in the Legislature are minorities and only three are women.

While her businessman-lawyer husband is well-known for his political campaigns and basketball history, Tarkanian said she is her own person.

“I want people to get to know me as Amy, not just the wife of Danny, although I love him,” she said.

When questioned if she could perform as chairwoman while still being the mother of young children, Tarkanian rattled off the names of several Republicans, like former Rep. Barbara Vucanovich and former state Assemblywoman and Treasurer Patty Cafferata, who were both mothers and politicians.

“Would you tell them to stay home?” she asked, drawing applause.

Contact Capital Bureau Chief Ed Vogel at evogel@reviewjournal.com or 775-687-3901.

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