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Judge denies legal fees in Clark County Republican Party lawsuit

Updated December 22, 2021 - 6:09 am

A Clark County judge on Tuesday denied a request to award legal fees in a case of two bickering factions of the Clark County Republican Party.

It’s the latest judicial decision in a months-long battle between two opposing groups that claim to be the rightful leaders of the Clark County GOP.

During a hearing Tuesday morning, District Judge Susan Johnson said she did not think a faction now led by state Sen. Carrie Buck, R-Henderson, acted in bad faith when it sued Jesse Law and his team over leadership positions in the county party.

“I think both sides of the table here care about what is going on in Nevada,” Johnson said. “And they disagree, and I wish they would come to the table and see if they could not resolve their differences.”

That’s unlikely to happen, as Nevada Republican Party Chairman Michael McDonald, who supports Law’s group, has vowed to oppose anyone who sides with Buck.

McDonald said he has tried to extend the olive branch to members of Buck’s group over the past few years.

“Each and every time I’ve had a knife stabbed in my back,” he said.

Buck said she is open to meeting with her opponents in the Republican Party. She said her side’s goal is to defeat Democrats in 2022 and anyone is welcome to join.

Law did not return a reporter’s phone call.

The case Johnson heard Tuesday comes from a dispute over a party leadership election in July.

After a meeting ended without selecting a new executive team, a group called the process back into order and elected Jesse Law as chairman days later.

At the time, acting party leadership considered the follow-up meeting fraudulent, filing a lawsuit against Law and his team in August. Johnson ultimately decided that she did not have the authority to rule in a political party’s internal dispute.

Law’s side has been recognized by state and national Republicans as the legitimate Clark County Republican Party. Both groups are arguing in a separate case over who should control party assets.

Contact Blake Apgar at bapgar@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5298. Follow @blakeapgar on Twitter.

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