The Churchill County Democrats had one of their largest turnouts in several years for Thursday’s Sawyer-Bryan Dinner at The Wok’s banquet hall.
A festive audience enjoyed everything from speeches to a silent auction to raise money for the Young Democrats, an organization at Churchill County High School. Churchill Democrat Chair Nyla Howell said she felt good with the turnout.
Keynote speaker Kate Marshall, a two-term Nevada state treasurer, didn’t need any special words to pump up the base.
“It’s nice to see you guys again. I’m excited to see the room full, Nyla,” she said to the audience, many of whom clapped and shouted their approval. “A lot of people are excited to see where Nevada is going.”
Both Howell and Marshall had a reason to be excited about the future of the Democratic Party in Nevada. Although the majority of rural counties are Republican-leaning, Nevada finished in the blue column in November when the state voted for Hillary Clinton for president and elected Catherine Cortez Masto as U.S. Senator, replacing the retiring Harry Reid.
Marshall, though, said those who serve in Congress, for example, are short on leadership and long on politics.
“They don’t offer solutions, just someone to blame,” she said of the politicians serving in both chambers. “Governing is not easy, and if you can’t don’t apply. Leaders look at long-term not the next term.”
Marshall told the audience of responsibility and that both she and others have the responsibility to look at the bigger picture and work across the aisle. She said compromise is needed to govern together.
“We have more in common than in divisions,” she said of both Democrats and Republicans.
William McCurdy, Nevada State Democratic party chairman, also excited the audience with his comments of firing up the base to win back Congress.
“Register votes, this is what you’re about, Democrats,” McCurdy said, adding people are worked up about politics and the Republican president and Congress.
The Las Vegas assemblyman said the nation has a president who doesn’t know what he’s doing and a U.S. senator, Dean Heller, who won’t take calls. McCurdy said it’s important for the Democrats to spread his message to become involved with communities and make change.
“We have a Senate seat up for grabs, and it’s ours,” he said, referring to Heller, who is running for re-election.
McCurdy said the Democrats have quality candidates ready to run for the six state constitutional offices from governor to controller, and he said the Democrats must not look at the election as a north-south or rural-urban proposition.
“It’s all of us,” he stressed to rousing applause.
Howell also recognized guests from the various county Democrat organizations, Mayor Ken Tedford and District Attorney Art Mallory. Howell also stepped down as the Rural Nevada Caucus Chair, and Alex Goff of Fernley has assumed the chair.
Additionally, Howell recognized the following Churchill County Democrats for emeritus status: Bob and Gaye Johnston, Glen McAdoo, Carol Roeder and Lee Workman.
The slate of officers for the Churchill County Democratic Central Committee executive board are as follows: Howell, chair; Larry Jackson, vice chair; Jeanette Strong, secretary; Sharon Hedges-Hillier, treasurer; and Edith Isidoro-Mills, member-at-large.