Nevada void of Republican candidates

As the Jan. 19 date for Democratic and Republican presidential caucuses in Nevada nears, Nevada - which has primarily been a Republican state - has seemingly been void of Republican candidates.

With the exception of Duncan Hunter and Ron Paul, five of the seven candidates still in the running have not been in Northern Nevada for some time, which is now deemed the "tiebreaker state" after caucus results from Iowa and New Hampshire.

Howard Tooley, chairman of the Carson City Republican Party, said some of the candidates have been to Las Vegas, and only a few to Reno.

"Not too many come to the rural counties, which is what we're considered," he said. "Part of their not being here is no time. They're busy with the other caucuses.

"We may see them soon with the (Nevada) caucus being next week. Duncan Hunter and Ron Paul have been here.

"I don't know if any of them will be in Carson City. There's supposed to be a reception for John McCain Sunday, but I don't know if he will be there."

Republican presidential candidates are: Rudy Guliani, Mike Huckabee, Duncan Hunter, John McCain, Ron Paul, Mitt Romney and Fred Thompson.

According to each candidate's Web site, none have events or appearances scheduled for Northern Nevada. The Republican party also has no events scheduled in Northern Nevada.

The Carson City Republican Central Committee has two locations for its party's caucus: Capital Christian Center, 1600 Snyder Ave., and the Governor's Mansion, 606 N. Mountain St.

An individual's precinct determines that person's caucus location.

"Any young people who are 17 and will be of voter age by Nov. 4, if they haven't registered already they can still register at the caucus.

Tooley said anyone with questions about the Republican party, the caucus or voting process can call him.

"The caucus is a pretty simplified process, compared to the other party," he said. "In a nutshell, they are seated by precinct number, elect a captain and secretary. Then, all of the candidates who have representatives will be there to speak about their candidate. They're given two minutes.

"The people of each precinct have their own meeting and any issues they want discussed at the county convention are given to the chairman. They then elect delegates to the county convention, which is in March."

Tooley said issues of the candidates include immigration and getting back to what the Republican Party used to be about - lower taxes and less government.

"We're considered a key state as far as both parties are concerned," he said. "Though Nevada is primarily a GOP state."

According to the Nevada Secretary of State's Web site, voter registration figures show for December 2007 - total registered Democrats at 499,850; Republicans have 480,437; Independent American Party with 49,190, and Nonpartisan at 189,112.

Tooley said he got involved with the Republican party about five years ago seeking information and became a volunteer. He has served as chairman one year with one year remaining.

"It's very helpful and I enjoy it," he said. "That's what's nice about living in Carson City. You can be involved and not have to have a lot of money to do it."

• Contact Rhonda Costa-Landers at rcosta-landers@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1223.

Republican caucus

WHEN: 9 a.m. Jan. 19

WHERE: Depending on precinct, either Governor's Mansion, 606 N. Mountain St., or Capital Christian Center, 1600 Snyder Ave.

ON THE NET: www.nevadagop.org

CALL: Howard Tooley, 450-6810

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