Reno woman named new head of Nevada Republican Party |

Reno woman named new head of Nevada Republican Party

RENO – Earlene Forsythe of Reno was elected state chairwoman of the Nevada Republican Party Thursday evening in what amounts to the final act of the outgoing central committee.

She will serve the remainder of Lia Roberts’ term, which ends in October 2005. Roberts resigned the post to return to her native Romania to run for that country’s presidency.

“We are here and should be here for no other reason than to get Republicans elected,” Forsythe told more than 100 members of the central committee at the Peppermill Hotel/Casino. “To capturing the state Assembly to retaining the senate to getting rid of Harry Reid.”

A longtime party activist, she promised she would work to raise at least $300,000 by June to keep the state party headquarters operating so the party can concentrate on raising money for elective races.

And Forsythe promised to help county party organizations raise money and prevent past conflicts.

“In the past, we have some unhealthy competitions going on between the state and counties,” she said.

The final vote total wasn’t released in the contest between Forsythe and Heidi Smith, also of Reno.

The election preceded today’s opening of the party’s state convention, raising a few complaints from some incoming members of the Central Committee that they would prefer electing the chair be their first act, rather than the outgoing committee’s final act.

Committees, including those dealing with resolutions and the party platform, also met Thursday and were supposed to conclude their business before the official opening of the convention.

They met in private and, according to party officials, decisions had all been pretty much made by Thursday.

The first speaker this morning will be State Controller Kathy Augustine at breakfast. Gov. Kenny Guinn will address the lunch crowd, followed by congressional district caucuses in which most of the delegates will be chosen for the national convention. Those meetings are closed to the press and public.

Ralph Reed, the Bush/Cheney Campaign’s southeast regional director, will address the banquet tonight.

The convention will select a total of 33 delegates to the convention at Madison Square Garden in New York City, the national committee members and finalize its platform – with between 15 and 20 planks – Saturday before adjourning.

Rep. Jim Gibbons will address the convention Saturday.

Contact Geoff Dornan at or 687-8750.