Ex-Nevada GOP Chairman Nominated in Special Election

Posted June 18, 2011 at 3:38pm

The Nevada Republican Party nominated former Chairman Mark Amodei on Saturday for the 2nd district special election.

The party’s state central committee gathered in Sparks, Nev., to nominate a candidate and choose a new chairman to replace Amodei, who stepped down to run for the vacant seat.

Amodei won easily, according to the Las Vegas Sun’s Jon Ralston. He reported Amodei took 221 votes, followed by state Sen. Greg Brower with 56 votes and retired Navy Cmdr. Kirk Lippold with 46 votes.

If the state Supreme Court upholds a lower court’s decision allowing the major parties to choose their nominees, Amodei will be the only Republican on the Sept. 13 ballot to replace now-Sen. Dean Heller (R).

However, if the ruling is overturned, there could be a “ballot royal.” Amodei would run as the nominated Republican, but with no primary, he could be joined on the ballot by several other members of his own party. Fifteen Republicans have filed candidacy papers with the secretary of state’s office. There are nine Democrats currently filed to run, including state Treasurer Kate Marshall.

The state and the Nevada Democratic Party both appealed the lower court’s decision that major parties have the power to restrict the number of candidates running under their banner. The court will hear from both parties at a June 28 hearing — one week before the July 6 date that Nevada Secretary of State Ross Miller (D) said preparations would need to begin for the special, including printing ballots.

The state Supreme Court has requested that the special election be delayed so that it will have more time to make a decision.

There is yet another recent addition to the uncertainty surrounding the race. Miller is also now looking into the possibility of a vote-by-mail-only election.