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GOP building momentum in Carson

Andrew Pridgen
Appeal Staff Writer
Gov. Jim Gibbons, right, speaks with Carson High School senior Jessica Wilson, 17, and her father Jim, left, as another man looks on at Capital Christian Center on Saturday. Wilson turns 18 on May 16. BRAD HORN/ Nevada Appeal
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Trying to build on the boost January’s unheralded caucus turnout gave the Republican Party, more than 100 area GOP affiliates met Saturday morning at Capital Christian Center to elect delegates to the state convention – and, more importantly, to continue to build momentum to November.

“This is it. It’s our time right now to get going,” said Rae Tooley, president of the Carson City Republican Women club. “Whether you like the candidate we’ve chosen best or not. You’ve got to get your vote out. A non-vote eventually will be a vote for the Democrats.

“We’re here to say this election really matters.”

None of the Republicans on hand denied that the majority of the press during this campaign season – one at Saturday’s meeting referred to as “seemingly endless” – has gone to the Democrats.

But it was Saturday’s meeting, along with an upstart grass-roots effort, area Republicans feel will carry the day in November.

“We’ve got to do what we’ve seen others do,” said Howard Tooley, the chairman of the Carson City’s Republican Central Committee. “We’ve got to walk the streets – we’ve got to get our precinct leaders to knock on the doors of their precincts.

“There are voters out there – many of us. It’s just a matter of getting out there and reaching out.”

While the audience was mostly older, the emphasis of many in attendance was to get the word out to younger conservatives as well, both to represent the area in upcoming state and national conventions, but to get involved in the party politic in general, Howard Tooley said.

“Yes, getting the young people involved -that’s always been the trick,” he said. “There are many young (Republicans), but they’re out there working, raising families.

“We know they want to be involved – we just need to figure out a way how.”

The morning session opened with a welcome from Gov. Jim Gibbons, who lauded all in attendance for their fortitude and time.

“This is just the first of Republican events that will take place before election day,” he said.

GOP volunteer Jay Baldwin, who said he was looking forward to the statewide Republican convention on April 26 in Reno, where Carson City residents will have a chance to be one of the 37 delegates to represent the state of Nevada at the Republican National Convention Sept. 1-4 in Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minn.

“It’s getting to be that time of year,” he said. “To be able to be involved locally and think that some folks here will get to the (national) convention is pretty exciting.

“But the momentum we built on (caucus) day continues here. We’re getting ready.”

• Contact reporter Andrew Pridgen at apridgen@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1219.