State GOP convention starts Friday |

State GOP convention starts Friday

The Nevada Republican State Convention will officially open at 9 a.m. Friday, but Nevada Republicans are meeting today to finish work on their platform and resolutions and to elect a new state chairperson.

The GOP’s state Chairwoman Lia Roberts resigned in March to return to her native Romania and run for president there. Heidi Smith and Earlene Forsythe, both of Reno, are running for the position.

The convention will run Friday and Saturday at Reno’s Peppermill Hotel/Casino.

By the time the gavel calls the convention to order, the platform, resolutions, bylaws, rules and nominating committees are all supposed to have completed their business. But unlike the Democrats who met two weekends ago in Las Vegas, those meetings are closed door sessions with no press allowed.

Party officials say there will probably be just 15 planks in the platform. By contrast, the Democratic platform contains more than 200.

The congressional district caucuses meet Friday – also behind closed doors.

About 400 to 450 are expected to attend the convention. Delegates will hear from speakers including Gov. Kenny Guinn, Rep. Jim Gibbons and Controller Kathy Augustine among others.

The first major event is this evening when delegates will join a nationwide video presentation by Vice President Dick Cheney, which is being broadcast to more than 70 locations around the country. Bush/Cheney ’04 chairman for the southeast region Ralph Reed will address the convention Friday night. Reed is the former head of the Christian Coalition.

Convention business including election of 33 delegates to the national convention in New York City and National Committee members will take place Saturday.

Also Saturday, Republican candidates seeking to unseat Harry Reid in the U.S. Senate race will speak to the convention.

The final session Saturday will feature presentation of committee reports, including resolutions and the platform to the convention.

Contact Geoff Dornan at or 687-8750.