The incoming political director of the Nevada Republican Party said Monday he wants to unify the Mitt Romney and Ron Paul factions of the GOP in the Silver State to give the party a better chance of winning the White House in 2012 and more seats in Congress.
“I’m coming down and moving to Nevada for one reason and one reason only, and that is to have Republicans win in Nevada,” Carl Wimmer said in an interview with the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Wimmer, a former state representative in Utah, recently lost an election bid for a new congressional district in Utah. During his House campaign, the conservative legislator endorsed Texas Rep. Paul for president, and he enjoyed support from members of the tea party movement. Wimmer said he is on good terms with Romney supporters in Utah, where there is a heavy Mormon population. He said he will work hard in Nevada to help elect Romney, who last week won enough delegates to become the GOP nominee, although Paul remains in the presidential race.
“As far as I’m concerned, my job will be to unify those who support Mitt Romney and those who support Ron Paul under the Republican Party in Nevada,” Wimmer said. “Hopefully, we can unite those two because, in the end, the top priority is defeating (President Barack) Obama.”
Wimmer is set to start the job as soon as Wednesday, joining a state party that has been taken over by Paul supporters and sidelined by the Republican National Committee and the Romney campaign.
The RNC and Romney set up the Team Nevada political operation to run their own ground game in the state after Paul backers gained leadership positions in the state party and Clark County GOP. The move means the state GOP won’t benefit from RNC funding and other election-year support.
Despite the cold shoulder, new Nevada Republican Party Chairman Michael McDonald, who was elected with Paul backers’ support, has made a couple of new hires and is gearing up for an election-year push, saying he wants to work with the RNC and the Romney campaign.
One of McDonald’s advisers, Jesse Law, is expected to become the new executive director of the state GOP as well. He would replace David Gallagher, who was pushed out by Paul backers.
Law said he envisions the state party focusing its efforts on fundraising and driving up GOP voter registration because Democrats have an edge in the state over Republicans.
Wimmer said he had been talking with McDonald for a few weeks before accepting the job as the political director, a position focusing on strategy and fundraising. He said he and McDonald agreed to try to mend fences with the GOP factions and reach out to Team Nevada, too.
“All of that is in the past,” Wimmer said of GOP turmoil. “All of that is behind us, and my eye is set on the future. Any kind of problems the party has had in the past are irrelevant to me.”
Team Nevada appeared open to any fence-mending effort by the incoming political director.
“We’re willing to work with anyone who has electing Mitt Romney and other Nevada Republicans as their top priority,” said Darren Littell, spokesman for Team Nevada.
Wimmer said he would move to Las Vegas, but his wife and children would continue living in Harriman, Utah. He said he planned to commute home to be with them as work allowed, at least through the November election, and then he may move his family to Nevada.
“If anything, I am a family man – that’s what I am to my very core,” Wimmer said. “But we will not be making any decision until after the November election.”
Contact Laura Myers at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-387-2919. Follow @lmyerslvrj on Twitter.