The Carson City Republican Central Committee has endorsed Independent American Joel Hansen in the race for Nevada Supreme Court.
Central Committee Chairman Tom Keaton confirmed the choice, which was announced in a flier hung on several hundred Carson City doors this past weekend.
"The first discussion was whether we should recommend people who are not Republicans or should we not," said Keaton. "There was quite a discussion and we decided we should."
Hansen is one of the leaders of the Independent American Party. He is running against Michael Douglas, who was appointed to the court earlier this year.
Keaton said Hansen's actions in protesting the Supreme Court's decision setting aside the two-thirds majority requirement to raise taxes and his defense of ballot questions including "Axe the Tax" were key reasons for the central committee decision to list Hansen among "well qualified" candidates.
"Joel fought for the people," said Keaton. "He stood up for their rights and he seems to have more of the views a lot of us hold up here about what the court should do and what it should not do."
He said the committee believed Hansen would be a judge "who interprets the constitution, and that's what we're looking for."
The recommendation was in a list of seven candidates the party has decided to back in non-partisan races.
"The following offices are non-partisan so no official recommendations may be made, but we find these candidates to be exceptionally well qualified," the flier states.
The list includes Ray Masayko for mayor and Shelly Aldean for supervisor, Dianne Steel and John Mason as well as Hansen in the three Supreme Court races, Dave Cook for State Board of Education and John McKenna for school trustee.
Douglas was appointed to the Supreme Court after the death of Myron Leavitt earlier this year. A former Clark County district judge, he is the first African American to be named to Nevada's high court.
The endorsement isn't the only recent incident tying the GOP to the IAP. The Republican Party table at an event last weekend in Beatty carried literature endorsing the IAP candidate who is seeking to take away the Assembly seat held by Republican Rod Sherer of Pahrump.
Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at firstname.lastname@example.org or 687-8750.