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Whitmer ousted as Monroe-Moreno wins control of Nevada Democratic Party

Updated March 5, 2023 - 6:46 am

CARSON CITY — Assemblywoman Daniele Monroe-Moreno won control of the Nevada State Democratic Party Saturday, clinching victory over embattled Chair Judith Whitmer.

The election for Nevada’s Democratic Party chair, which saw Monroe-Moreno winning by a margin of 314-99, comes after a heated race that saw several prominent Democrats and unions endorse Monroe-Moreno over Whitmer, including U.S. Sens. Catherine Cortez Masto and Jacky Rosen, U.S. Reps. Susie Lee, Dina Titus and Steven Horsford, former Gov. Steve Sisolak and the powerful Culinary union.

Monroe-Moreno’s win signals that the Democratic establishment is regaining control of the party apparatus from the party’s more liberal progressive wing, which has held the party since Whitmer became the chair in 2021.

“2024 is far too important. The division in our party had to come to an end,” Monroe-Moreno said. “I ran so we could bring the family, the Democratic family, back together. Just like any other family, we’re not always going to agree on everything all the time.”

Monroe-Moreno is the first Black woman to serve as chair of the state party. A retired corrections officer, Monroe-Moreno was first elected to the Nevada Assembly in 2016 and represents North Las Vegas.

Monroe-Moreno announced her bid for chair in early February alongside other Democratic candidates, who ran together in a slate dubbed the Democratic Unity Slate.

Other members of the Unity Slate achieved victory Saturday, including former West Wendover Mayor Daniel Corona as first vice chair, policy adviser Francisco Morales as second vice chair, former state party executive director Travis Brock as secretary and North Las Vegas Democratic Club President Leilani Hinyard as treasurer.

Whitmer was first elected in 2021 after defeating Clark County Commissioner Tick Segerblom in a victory that saw the party’s power structure shift towards the more liberal wing of the party.

Whitmer has faced mounting pressure in the past weeks, drawing criticism and calls for her resignation after more than 230 members were removed from the central committee’s membership list. Whitmer said the mass removal was part of a procedure that eliminates members who fail to attend two consecutive meetings.

Following the mass removal, nearly 40 members of the state central committee sent a letter to the Democratic National Committee, who observed Saturday’s election, expressing concern over the “impartiality” of the vote.

And it’s not the first time Whitmer has faced difficulty unifying the party. After her win in 2021, much of the party’s staff resigned to form Nevada Democratic Victory, housed under the Washoe County Democratic Party.

The group bypassed the state party by running coordinated campaigns for many of the high-profile races during the 2022 election, including for Sisolak, Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto and the state’s three Democratic U.S. representatives.

All of those elected officials threw their support behind Monroe-Moreno, adding their endorsement alongside several state lawmakers, including Assembly Speaker Steve Yeager and Senate Majority Leader Nicole Cannizzaro.

Contact Taylor R. Avery at TAvery@reviewjournal.com. Follow @travery98 on Twitter.

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