weather icon Clear

Clark County Republican Party picks David Sajdak to lead group

Updated November 20, 2018 - 9:48 pm

Despite being dogged by a charge of soliciting a prostitute more than a decade ago, Clark County Republican Party acting Chair David Sajdak won a contentious chairman race by a landslide Tuesday night.

“I’m humbled by your support,” Sajdak said. “You know I’m a hard worker. Thank you for all your help, and we’ll get to work. Hopefully we can put all this behind us. It was pretty nasty. We are going to rebuild the party … we cannot leave people out anymore.”

Sajdak was locked in a power struggle with Treasurer Pat Casale to lead a fractured Clark County Republican Party after a crushing election. Eddie Hamilton, a lesser-known candidate, also ran for chairman.

Sajdak stepped into the leadership role about two weeks ago after the sudden resignation of Carl Bunce. Sajdak will serve at chair until July, finishing out Bunce’s term, before running for re-election. The tight race between Sajdak and Casale widened a rift between two factions that have long divided the group.

Amid the battle brewing between Sajdak and Casale, new details emerged Tuesday about a citation Sajdak received after he was accused of soliciting a prostitute more than a decade ago, a charge he denied.

Metropolitan Police Department documents obtained by the Review-Journal show Sajdak was cited after police said he offered a woman $1,100 for sex on West Flamingo Road about 1:30 a.m. Oct. 9, 2006.

The woman was an undercover Metro detective. Sajdak failed to appear for a court hearing the following month, prompting a judge to issue a bench warrant for his arrest. Sajdak said he was under the impression that the Clark County district attorney’s office had declined to file charges. Sajdak paid $300 cash bail, and the case was dismissed in 2007.

GOP insiders on Tuesday called on Sajdak to withdraw his name from consideration for the chairmanship, but Sajdak said that he was “wrongly charged” and that the case was political payback. He called the charges “salacious” during his speech Tuesday.

Sajdak said the woman he was accused of paying for sex actually followed him in her car, badgering him for sex.

“This person solicited me, and I told her ‘no’ 27 times, and she followed me around,” Sajdak said. “She kept following me down side streets and rolled down the windows. She wouldn’t leave me alone. I was actually nervous.”

The discourse within the Clark County GOP comes as Republicans lost nearly every race in the midterms. The GOP has been on a losing streak in Clark County for more than a decade. A Republican hasn’t won election to the County Commission since 2004. The party’s candidates typically accrue paltry fundraising sums compared their Democrat opponents.

Casale said that if he were chosen, he would overhaul the county GOP by revamping its messaging to reach young voters, minorities and independents who could have swung close races.

“We got murdered,” said Casale, who works as a health insurance broker. “Republicans lost big. And they want to blame the (voter registration) gap. But I’ve got to tell you something: Republicans voted for Democrats this time around. Our messaging has to improve dramatically.”

Longtime Republicans were divided on the chairman race Tuesday.

“Right or wrong, we need to be squeaky clean. I think (Sajdak) should have been upfront about it,” said Will Bradley, a member of the Las Vegas Review-Journal reader panel. “I think he’s the better person to lead us. I would trust him to be the face of the most powerful county party in our state.”

Laughlin Constable Jordan Ross, who was recently fired as county whip and now serves as the party recorder, said the county party has always faced divisions.

“It’s a mixture of ideological rifts and personalities,” Ross said. “There is division right now, but it’s much better than it was in previous years.”

Contact Ramona Giwargis at rgiwargis@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-4538. Follow @RamonaGiwargis on Twitter.

Follow @RJpolitics on Twitter for the latest political news in Nevada.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Politics Videos
Special session to tackle $1.2B budget deficit in special session Wednesday - VIDEO
Closing the state’s $1.2 billion budget hole will be the prime focus of the upcoming special legislative session that will convene at 9 a.m. Wednesday in Carson City, according to a proclamation issued by Gov. Steve Sisolak. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Lawmakers to tackle $1.2B budget deficit in special session Wednesday - VIDEO
Closing the state’s $1.2 billion budget hole will be the prime focus of the upcoming special legislative session that will convene at 9 a.m. Wednesday in Carson City, according to a proclamation issued by Gov. Steve Sisolak. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Clark County Democratic leaders resign
Several key Clark County Democratic Party leaders have resigned as progressive leadership has swelled in recent months.
Dream Big Nevada celebrates DACA ruling - VIDEO
The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday rejected President Donald Trump’s effort to end legal protections under DACA for 650,000 young immigrants. Astrid Silva, founder of Dream Big Nevada, discusses the temporary victory and the next step for Dreamers.
Councilwoman Michele Fiore walks out of city council meeting - Video
Las Vegas Councilwoman Michele Fiore walks out of a City Council meeting during public comments.
Mitt Romney marches in Washington, D.C., protest - Video
On Sunday, Republican Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah joined a group of protesters marching through Washington, D.C. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nevada gyms, bars that do not serve food can reopen Friday - VIDEO
Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak on Tuesday evening said Phase 2 of the state’s Nevada United: Roadmap to Recovery will begin on Friday. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nevada Rep. Horsford admits to having affair - VIDEO
Nevada Congressman Steven Horsford admitted to having an affair with Gabriela Linder, a former intern for Sen. Harry Reid. Linder detailed her account of the affair in a podcast she called, "Mistress for Congress." (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sisolak says businesses will begin reopening under phase 1 - VIDEO
The first phase of reopening Nevada’s businesses will begin Saturday, May 9, Gov. Steve Sisolak said Thursday. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Joe Biden denies Tara Reade's sexual assault allegation - VIDEO
The former senate aide claims Biden assaulted her in 1993 when he was a senator. Biden first denied the accusations via a public post on Medium. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
RJ interview with Sisolak on the reopening plan for Nevada - VIDEO
The Las Vegas Review-Journal interviewed Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak on the plan for reopening Nevada during the coronavirus pandemic. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sisolak reacts to Goodman CNN interview- VIDEO
Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman repeated her call to immediately reopen businesses during an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Wednesday, leading to a reaction from Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sisolak praises Nevadans for staying at home, saving lives - VIDEO
Gov. Steve Sisolak said Thursday it’s still too early to know when the state’s COVID-19 shutdown orders could be lifted or when businesses could start to reopen their doors. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Trump gives governors 3-phase approach to open US - VIDEO
President Donald Trump declared victory in America’s war against the “invisible enemy” as the president’s Coronavirus Task Force released “Opening up America Again” guidelines. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Trump names Jacky Rosen to task force on reopening economy - VIDEO
President Donald Trump named Sen. Jacky Rosen, D-Nev., to be a member of his Opening Up America Again Congressional Group Thursday to advise him on coronavirus policy. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bernie Sanders endorses Joe Biden for president - VIDEO
On April 13, former presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders announced his official endorsement of former Vice President Joe Biden. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)