Lieutenant governor to report from Republican National Convention

Nevada Lieutenant Governor Brian Krolicki will join thousands this week in St. Paul, Minn., the site of the GOP National Convention.

This will make the fourth Republican National Convention for the Stateline resident, who is chairman of Sen. John McCain's campaign in Nevada.

With the unexpected news on Friday that Sen. John McCain took a gamble and picked Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his vice presidential running mate, the run to the election promises to historic at all levels.

"She's a great lady. It is a very bold ticket that will give Democrats a run for their money in November," Krolicki said Friday.

Beginning Tuesday, Krolicki will provide some of his thoughts through the convention's nominating process to the Tahoe Daily Tribune, Nevada Appeal, Record-Courier, Lahontan Valley News and the North Lake Tahoe Bonanza Web sites.

While Nevada is considered a swing state in the November election, the Republican party here has experienced its share of turmoil.

This week a ruling from the Republican National Committee panel said the state party violated rules when it appointed, rather than elected, its group of 34 delegates and 31 alternates, according to a report obtained by The Associated Press on Thursday.

The RNC Committee on Contests was asked to review the delegates by a group of supporters of Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, who argued they were shut out of the delegate selection process. The Paul backers elected a separate delegation to the convention in St. Paul, Minn., which also was rejected by the Republican National Committee panel.

The committee recommended a compromise list of delegates, which needs approval of the credentials committee. The compromise list included at least four backers of Paul, a former presidential candidate who inched out McCain for second place in Nevada's January Republican presidential caucuses.

Krolicki, 47, was elected as Nevada's lieutenant governor in November 2006. As lieutenant governor, he's president of the State Senate, chairman of the Commission on Economic Development, chairman of the Commission on Tourism, and serves as a member of the State Board of Transportation. Brian is married to wife, Kelly, the 1996 political director for the Nevada GOP. The couple have three daughters and reside on Kingsbury Grade in Douglas County.

The following are Krolicki's thoughts on the presidential race and why he thinks John McCain is the right man for the White House.

Q: Why was Sarah Palin a good pick for John McCain?

A: For one, there were 19 million people who voted for Hillary Clinton. Many of these voters resonate with Sarah. She is a hockey mom on the Republican ticket. She went from being involved in a local school issue, who then went to become mayor of a town, and now sits as governor of a state. She has executive experience plus has a common touch with Alaskans. She's one who brings her baby into work.

Q: As one who caucused for Mitt Romney, how did you become John McCain's campaign chairman for Nevada?

A: I was in China at the time. I got a call from the McCain folks in the middle of the night a couple months asking if I wanted to be the chair. It wasn't the kind of call I was expecting. I said, "Of course. I'd love to. I've known John McCain for 15 years. He's a friend and I support him."

Q: What are your duties as the Nevada campaign chairman?

A: You help coordinate every event that is put on by the McCain campaign for the state. Sometimes there can be eight or nine events in a day. You set up town hall meetings and ask people what they think is important. You speak with the local media and coordinate. And you make introductions. I've been with him each time he's visited.

Q: A recent poll had McCain and Sen. Barack Obama neck and neck with McCain having a five point advantage over Nevada. It used to be that Nevada was a fiercely Republican state. What's changed?

A: The polls have it both ways. There are five polls that have McCain up, two polls with Obama up. Right now I would call it a statistical tie.

As far as what's changed, I would say the structure of the caucuses in Nevada has changed some of the ground game between the Republicans and Democrats and those changes have brought material advantages and energies from both sides.

Q: John McCain does fit the Nevada mold. He is Republican but has also broken away from his party. He's also known to be on the feisty side. Will this resonate nationally?

A: He would make an extraordinary fit. He's a Westerner and shares our issues, and that's why he think of him as a common friend. Being from Arizona he understands federal issues, federal land issues, tribal issues, water issues. He believes in energy independence and believes that by 2025 we want to be energy independent in the United States.

And as Nevadans, we don't like taxes. We like free and fair trade. I think John McCain, our friend from Arizona, represents the values of not only the people in Nevada, but across the United States.


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