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Two Republican women seek to represent Nevada on RNC

Updated December 30, 2022 - 5:46 pm

Two Republican women are vying to be the Nevada Republican Party’s next national committeewoman.

Members of the Nevada Republican Central Committee will meet Jan. 14 in Ely to choose between Sigal Chattah and Pauline Ng Lee to serve as a representative on the Republican National Committee and to fundraise for the party.

The position has been vacant since former Committeewoman Michele Fiore was appointed as a justice of the peace in Nye County.

Chattah, an attorney who ran an unsuccessful campaign for attorney general in the 2022 midterms, decided to run after Fiore made the suggestion.

Lee, a retired attorney, is director of communications for Keystone Corp., a conservative political action organization that focuses on businesses and enterprise-based policies in Nevada. She said she threw her hat into the ring to put her fundraising experience to use.

Nevada’s race for national committeewoman has attracted national attention as Ronna McDaniel, the Republican Party’s chairwoman, faces a tough quest for re-election. The new Nevada committeewoman, along with James DeGraffenreid, who also represents Nevada on the RNC, could play an instrumental role in re-electing McDaniel or selecting a new chairperson for the national party.

National committee members represent the Nevada Republican Party to the RNC, and their priorities are to provide leadership and raise funds for the party, said Michael McDonald, chairman of the state party.

“The person has to have a considerable Rolodex and know their way around and how to raise money for the party,” McDonald said. They also have to show that they have raised money in the past, he said.

McDonald knows both candidates very well and said that both are good, but he did not voice his support for a particular candidate.

A look at the candidates

In addition to raising about $800,000 for her attorney general campaign, Chattah said she has fundraised for Friends of Israeli Defense Force, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, the American Heart Association, the Injured Police Officers Fund and the Las Vegas Police Protective Association. As an attorney, she also threw fundraisers for different judges.

Chattah said her goals are to put Nevada’s constituency “front and center to ensure that our candidates have the support that they deserve.”

She also wants to mitigate issues with universal mail-in ballots and ensure that proper ballot harvesting matches the Democratic machine. In addition, she will fundraise and help raise the Republican brand, she said.

Chattah identifies herself as a populist, constitutionalist, patriot and an ‘America First’ candidate.

“I think what we’re looking for right now is a more populist party, much less dependent on consultants,” Chattah said.

Lee, a Republican activist and organizer, was president of the Nevada Republican Club and a lead attorney for the Republican Party in the Clark County Election Department. She is also on Gov.-elect Joe Lombardo’s transition team.

Lee said she has fundraised for a number of charitable nonprofit organizations for about 20 years, including the Clark County Medical Society Alliance, the Nursing and Medical School Scholarship Program and the Nevada School of the Arts.

If elected, her primary goal is to raise money for the party. She declined to specify how or what her techniques would be to raise money.

“I’m committed to never running for office,” Lee said. “There will never be a conflict. I’ll always be raising money for the party and not my own interests. … It’s not about me. It’s about the community.”

Lee received endorsements from elected leaders including Lombardo, Lt.Gov-elect Stavros Anthony and Assembly Minority Leader P.K. O’Neill, R-Carson City.

“I’ve known Pauline for several years now,” O’Neill said. “I know she is dedicated and committed to the Republican Party and would be a great representative for our Republican ideals and an asset to the future growth of the party.”

Chattah received endorsements from Richard Grenell, former acting director of U.S. National Intelligence, Kash Patel, former adviser to former President Donald Trump, and Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla.

“We need dynamic organizers to inspire and operationalize our movement to victory again,” Gaetz said on Twitter.

Qualification issues?

Nominees for national committeewoman must be current voting members of the Nevada Republican Central Committee to qualify, according to bylaws the state party adopted in January 2022. Each county’s Republican Party elects delegates to serve in the central committee.

In Clark County, where both Lee and Chattah live, the Clark County Republican Party elected its delegates to the Nevada Republican Party Central Committee in May.

According to a press release Clark County Republican Party Chairman Jesse Law sent out to members in May, Lee, McDonald and Law were listed as members, but not Chattah.

An updated list of members of the Nevada Republican Central Committee from November 2022 obtained by the Review-Journal also does not show Chattah as a member of the committee.

Chattah said she is a member of the central committee and has been since 2018, which McDonald confirmed. Chattah did not know why her name did not appear on the list of members. While she did not have documentation to show she was a member, Chattah assured the Review-Journal she was.

Sally Minster, the secretary for the Clark County Republican Party, also said in an email that Chattah is a member, but she declined to provide a list of its members.

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

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