Nevada GOP to define platform

Nevada Republicans will begin the process of defining a platform and selecting convention delegates in precinct meetings March 21.

The meetings will include GOP regulars in Carson City, Douglas, Lyon and Washoe counties.

State party director Ryan Erwin said the precinct meetings are where delegates to county conventions are named and the first step on the road to the state convention at Carson City's Ormsby House May 25-27.

"It also gives folks in those precincts the chance to discuss any platforms they want to propose," he said.

Mineral County Republicans, however, will meet three days earlier on March 18. Most of the rest of the state counties have already held their precinct meetings.

Erwin said he expects a good turnout because of strong support for George W. Bush in Nevada as well as the popularity of John Ensign, who is running for U.S. Senate.

"But we also have some great legislative candidates signed up," he said. "We're going to have a fantastic year in 2000."

He said since arriving 10 months ago, he and other party workers have managed to eliminate a $360,000 debt and now the task is to raise money for upcoming campaigns.

"Fund raising is always important," he said. "But equally important is the grass roots end of it."

He said that means getting people to sign up as precinct captains, poll watchers and other party workers as well as increasing registration.

Democrats reclaimed the registration lead last September after the GOP had held it nearly five years.

"They've done a good job with registration," said Erwin. "But this is a Republican state and their voter registration advantage will be, I think, a short term one."

The precinct meetings are all in preparation for the county conventions April 22 around the state. Carson City's will be held at the Ormsby House Hotel/Casino and Douglas County's at the CVIC Hall.

There, delegates from the precinct meetings will name delegates to the state convention and further refine their platform issues.

This year's state convention at the Ormsby House will finalize a state platform, pick a state chairman, two national committee members and delegates to the National Convention July 31-Aug. 5.


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