weather icon Clear
RJ App
Vegas News, Alerts, ePaper

‘Democratic Unity’: Monroe-Moreno seeks to reunite party, set sights on 2024

Updated March 7, 2023 - 12:38 pm

After receiving about 75 percent of the Nevada State Democratic Party’s central committee vote on Saturday, newly elected Chairwoman Daniele Monroe-Moreno says she is “excited” to unite the party and win elections for Democrats in 2024.

Monroe-Moreno, a Democratic assemblywoman from North Las Vegas, won control of the party over the weekend, clinching a victory for the establishment Democrats who had done key work in winning races for Democrats in 2022.

Monroe-Moreno and the other officers on her “Democratic Unity” slate — all of whom won party leadership positions over the weekend — ran with the goal to reunite the party, which was taken over by progressives in 2021, led by now-former chair Judith Whitmer.

After Whitmer’s victory, establishment Democratic party operatives who worked under late Sen. Harry Reid all resigned and formed a rival operation to get Democrats elected in 2022. The operation was called Nevada Democratic Victory, which served as the party’s coordinated campaign arm in 2022 and was the main organizer for upper-ballot campaign events.

With Monroe-Moreno’s win, the coordinated campaign will be absorbed into the Nevada Democratic Party in the 2024 election cycle.

“That was the whole reason that I ran,” Monroe-Moreno told the Review-Journal on Monday. “I saw no reason for us to have two separate organizations. You have to have that campaign arm of the state party, the coordinated campaign arm, and for as long as I’ve been in politics, it’s always been embodied together until this last election.”

“The goal was to bring us back together to have a more effective winning strategy,” said Monroe-Moreno, who is the first Black woman to serve as chair of the state party. “We know that 2024 is going to be a pivotal election. … so yeah, that was one of the reasons why I ran, to bring all of that back together, because we’re so much more effective when we’re working together.”

First steps

Monroe-Moreno’s first steps as chairwoman include engaging with the current party staff, learning about the infrastructure that is in place and reviewing financial information and contract employees. Democrats raised concerns about Whitmer granting contracts to her allies, which played into the campaign to unseat her.

Monroe-Moreno also will address issues related to central committee membership. Leading up to the election, some central committee members were purged from membership rolls, ostensibly for failure to attend meetings, although some were restored after problems with attendance tracking came to light.

Once the membership list is cleaned up, Monroe-Moreno will meet with county chairs and learn what they expect from their state party chair and executive board.

It is too early to discuss a campaign strategy for 2024, Monroe-Moreno said, but she will be looking at the plans that the previous administration already has in place and what changes need to be made.

Raising money, recruiting volunteers

With the party back in establishment hands, it will likely have more robust fundraising and volunteer recruitment efforts, two hallmarks of the party when it was taken over by staffers selected by then-U.S. Sen. Harry Reid.

Following the weekend vote, U.S. Sen. Jacky Rosen, D-Nev., who is up for re-election in 2024, said she is committed to working with the new chair to “keep Nevada blue in 2024.”

Monroe-Moreno’s win goes beyond where one stands on the Democratic spectrum; it is more about the kind of leader the party needs, said Molly Forgey, a former intern for Reid’s Senate office who since has worked on multiple Nevada Democratic campaigns.

“That was the biggest factor in this election: voting for another two years of this or voting for someone who wanted to bring back this national reputation of a state party that is aggressive and successful at winning elections, this model for state parties across the country,” Forgey said. “I think that’s what it came down to.”

Whitmer said she is disappointed by the results of the election but said she is proud of the work she and her team accomplished.

“I believe now just as strongly as I did two years ago that a better world is possible and that all of us should have a hand in building it,” Whitmer said in a statement to the Review-Journal. “The work isn’t over and I’m looking forward to the battles still ahead.”

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

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