weather icon Clear

Clark County GOP meeting canceled, sparking concerns

A Clark County Republican Party meeting was canceled this week, sparking concerns about who will be able to vote in upcoming officer elections and where future meetings will be held.

On Tuesday the Clark County Republican Party was supposed to meet at Stoney’s Rockin’ Country in Town Square for its bi-monthly meeting, but it was canceled Monday.

Instead, Chairman Jesse Law hosted an open house for Republicans at the Clark County Republican Party headquarters, where he said that Stoney’s had canceled after it was reported an attendee at the January meeting was carrying a gun. Someone also had allegedly threatened a Stoney’s employee, and the establishment did not appreciate being included in news stories about the leaked video of former Las Vegas Councilwoman Michele Fiore ranting about former state party Chair Amy Tarkanian, Law said.

“They did not like that,” Law told the attendees of the open house, which was posted on the party’s Facebook page. “They didn’t want us back from that moment. They didn’t want anything negative.”

Stoney’s and Law did not return multiple requests for comment from the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

The venue was willing to host the meeting Tuesday but said it did not have enough staff, Law said, so the party was forced to cancel.

While Stoney’s was an ideal location for the Clark County Republican Party’s meetings because it did not have to pay, the party will now have to find a new venue, Law said. He said he has a “good lead” on temporary and permanent solutions.

“I’m trying to be upbeat and positive,” Law said at the open house. “This is an example of, if something happens, let’s reorient and go forward.”

Concerns about voting participation

The cancellation of the meeting has sparked concerns from several Clark County Republicans who allege the meeting was canceled on purpose to prevent new members of the county party from voting in the upcoming officer elections in July, when Law is up for re-election.

A faction of Republicans in the Clark County Republican Party who oppose Law’s leadership contacted a couple hundred Republicans who were expelled or who resigned since Law was elected in 2021, urging them to rejoin so they can vote against him. A lot of those people were planning on being at the next meeting, said Margaret White, one of the Republicans against Law’s leadership.

Currently, Law faces at least one opponent in his bid for re-election: Dave Crete, a Las Vegas real estate agent who was chair of the Republican Party in Maricopa County, Arizona, in the 1990s and ran an unsuccessful campaign for the Nevada board of regents in 2022. He wants to end the infighting, he said.

“We’ll have a more cohesive party, and we will win elections,” Crete said.

In order to vote in the July election, a member of the Clark County Republican Party must have attended two meetings. For new members who joined in January, the only meeting options were the canceled March meeting and the upcoming May meeting, but if the only meeting they attend is in May, they will not be able to vote in July, said former Clark County Republican Party Chairman David Sajdak.

“It’s just more games,” White said. “We wanted to get people there so they’d be able to vote in July.”

At the open house, Law said rescheduling the canceled meeting will happen as soon as possible, although a venue must be found and a 10-day notice given.

Law said that he had been preparing for the meeting for weeks, putting in 10-to-14-hour days.

“You think I might have been interested in actually having the meeting, if I’m preparing like that for it?” Law said. “Yes. I want it to happen soon so we can move forward.”

Law also mentioned his own bid for re-election at the open house, saying former President Donald Trump endorsed his bid when Law was visited the ex-president at his Mar-a-Lago resort.

Fundraising concerns

Another upcoming event for the Clark County Republican Party has drawn internal criticisms, it’s annual Lincoln-Douglass Day fundraising dinner. Proceeds from the event are slated to go to the state party, rather than the county party’s accounts.

Other Republican county parties across the state are holding their own Lincoln Day events to raise money for themselves. The Elko County Republican Party, for instance, is hosting a Lincoln Day Dinner on March 25, all proceeds of which will benefit the Elko County Republican Party.  

In February, the Douglas County Republican Party’s Lincoln-Reagan Dinner raised funds for its headquarters building and monthly meeting venue rents, utilities, office supplies and donations to candidates, according to the event information.

“People are upset because Clark County doesn’t get any of the proceeds, which is unusual,” White said.

Nevada Republican Party Chairman Michael McDonald did not return a request for comment by deadline.

Contact Jessica Hill at jehill@reviewjournal.com. Follow @jess_hillyeah on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.