Posts Tagged ‘special election’

Live Results Link for CD-2 Special Election

By Elizabeth Crum | 2:09 pm September 10th, 2011

The Secretary of State’s office has announced that the official live results of the Congressional District 2 Special Election on Tuesday, Sept. 13 will be available at

The website will enable the public to monitor election results as they are reported by the counties throughout the evening.

The website features county-by-county results, updates on the percentage of precincts reporting and past voter turnout statistics for CD-2. The voter turnout feature allows users to view historical statistics from the 2008 and 2010 elections and compare them to 2011 special election turnout.

Friday was the last day of early voting.

Voters can locate their Election Day polling place by visiting My Voter File and clicking on the Election Center tab.

Heller Says Judge Should Have Disclosed Amodei Business Relationship

By Anne Knowles | 12:30 pm August 23rd, 2011

Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nevada, says he wishes the judge who ruled in the second congressional special election case had disclosed business interests he shared with Republican candidate Mark Amodei.

U.S. Senator Dean Heller

“I was as surprised as anybody else when I read that they had had some business dealings together,” said Heller on an appearance on the TV news program Nevada NewsMakers on Monday.  “I think the claim was they were deciding on process, they weren’t deciding on candidates at that time, and I think for that reason Russell decided he didn’t need to recuse himself from the process.”

Carson City District Court Judge James Russell ruled on May 19 on the procedure for the upcoming special election to fill the congressional seat vacated when Gov. Brian Sandoval appointed Heller to the Senate seat left open when John Ensign resigned.

The ruling, which was in response to a Republican party challenge to Secretary of State Ross Miller’s decision that the ballot would be open to numerous party contenders, limited the ballot to single nominees selected by each party’s central committees.

After the ruling,a blog post in the Reno-Gazette Journal revealed that Russell and Amodei, the former state senator chosen by the Republican committee as its candidate for the congressional seat, share a $500 mining claim in Storey County.

Russell later said he did not consider it a conflict.

“In this day and age I think everything, every little thing, needs to come forward. I even think he could have disclosed the relationship and still made the ruling, ” said Heller. “I wish he would have done that, but, again, I know Judge Russell and I’ve known him to be a man of integrity.”

Heller also said he expects his own 2012 election against opponent Rep. Shelley Berkley to be a tough race that will cost between $10 million and $12 million.

“I know that Senator (Harry) Reid wants to keep his majority, wants to keep his leadership post, so he’s going to do everything he can to help my opponent,” said Heller. “I’ve got my hands full.”

Heller said he wasn’t impressed by Berkley’s so-called Jobs Tour, which visited Reno this week, citing Berkley’s vote for the so-called Cap and Trade bill, which he said was estimated to kill 5,000 jobs in her district.

“Your voting record is going speak a lot louder than your little speaking tour,” said Heller.

Heller also said he supported a national e-verify system, similar to one used in Arizona, requiring employers to verify all employees’ immigration status.

He also defended his vote against raising the nation’s debt ceiling.

“The markets were loud and clear on how bad this debt ceiling vote was,” said Heller, referring to the subsequent drop in the stock market. “The bad outweighed the good in this particular piece of legislation.”


County Clerks On Turnout in CD-2 Special: “Most People Don’t Even Know There is an Election Coming Up”

By Elizabeth Crum | 10:44 am August 23rd, 2011

Just how low will voter turnout be in the special election for Nevada’s second congressional district? The consensus of a handful of county clerks is that it is unlikely to exceed 25 percent, could be even lower and/but is really “anybody’s guess”.

“The fact is, most people don’t even know there is an election coming up,” said the Nye County clerk’s office. Other clerks agreed.

One indicator may be the low number of absentee ballots being requested. Douglas County reports around 350 absentee ballots requested to date. Typically, the county has received 1,000-1,500 absentee ballot requests by the time early voting starts.

Although Douglas County is generally known for high turnout numbers, the clerk’s office agreed that “very few people know about this election.”

In Washoe County, where over half the voters eligible to cast ballots in the election reside, about 3,600 absentee ballots have been requested so far. The number is usually closer to 12,000 in a primary and 25,000 in a general election.

The presence of television ads by the candidates’ and national parties may elevate turnout in Washoe County, but even so the clerk’s office estimates it at 25 percent to “the high twenties, even if things heat up.”

Senator James Settelmeyer said he expects turnout in Douglas County to be between 25 and 30 percent, but is not sure the counties “down south” will show as high.

“I have seen the candidates’ campaign signs here and there, and it’s funny, because usually the biggest thing on your sign is your last name. But maybe the candidates’ should have put the election date in giant numbers instead,” laughed Settelmeyer.


Amodei, Marshall Duel Over Facts, Foreign Policy, Medicare and Taxes

By Anne Knowles | 9:05 pm August 22nd, 2011

State Treasurer Kate Marshall and former state senator Mark Amodei sparred over Medicare reform, campaign ads and even the uprising in Libya in an hour-long debate airing on the statewide news program Face to Face on Monday and Tuesday.

Former Nevada state Sen. and CD2 GOP candidate Mark Amodei.

The two candidates vying for a vacant congressional seat in a special election next month offered starkly different solutions to the nation’s problems, including how to best rein in Medicare spending.

Marshall said the federal government should use its power to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies over the price of prescription drugs for seniors, while Amodei said the Medicare eligibility age should be bumped up and the program’s benefits restructured for those 15 years or more from current eligibility.

Amodei said he wanted to reform the program while increasing the reimbursement rate doctors receive for treating Medicare patients.

Jon Ralston, host of Face to Face and the debate moderator, asked the Republican candidate what he would cut if he were not in favor of reducing reimbursement rates for doctors.

“How about a federal hiring freeze?” said Amodei, adding that it was wrong, “to tell people they have a Medicare program when doctors won’t let them in the office because reimbursement rates are too low.”

The Medicare discussion raised the issue of the budget plan put forth by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, which calls for turning Medicare into a program in which seniors are given vouchers to purchase insurance on the private market.

Democratic candidate Marshall said the plan “lacks vision” and actually exacerbates the problem because the cost of private insurance has grown faster than Medicare.

“Medicare is a good bang for your buck if you’re a senior,” said Marshall.

Amodei said he would have voted against the Ryan plan if he had been a member of Congress at the time, but Ralston pointed out that Amodei was quoted in an article on Politico saying the plan was “excellent.”

“I think Mr. Amodei is trying to have it both ways,” said Marshall.

Amodei defended the change in views, saying he had read the Ryan bill since making his earlier statements of support and that it would not work well for his district. He added that the Ryan plan was the only budget plan on the table.

The pair also discussed their dueling campaign ads. A Marshall ad accuses Amodei of being a paid lobbyist while serving in the legislature, when he was employed by the Nevada Mining Association, and also of voting himself a pay raise.

Amodei said he was not employed as a lobbyist nor registered as one in the years in question, and that the bill he voted for that gave legislators a bump in pay meant he made only $7 more per day for 60 days during the 2007 and 2009 legislative sessions. Meanwhile, he said, the state treasurer was given a $17,000 pay raise.

The same bill that gave legislators their pay raise also increased the state treasurer’s salary from $80,000 to $97,000, but Marshall did not take office until after the bill went into effect.

The Marshall ad also accuses Amodei of voting for the largest tax increase in the state’s history, in 2003 when the legislature passed the modified business tax. Amdoei said it was supported by the Chamber of Commerce and the Nevada Tax Association and was necessary to fund the education budget requested by then Gov. Kenny Guinn.

“I’m a solutions guy who deals with the facts and the fact at the time was that was a responsible way to deal with Gov. Guinn’s budget request,” said Amodei. “What we need now is a solutions person who won’t ignore the facts, won’t go in the tank for a political caucus or special interest group and who says we’ve got to bring the federal budget into balance, we’ve got to bring some spending discipline.”

Marshall said she would not have voted for the modified business tax because it penalizes employers for hiring people.

Amodei distanced himself from an ad paid for by the Republican party that showed Marshall saying she had “steered the state with a steady hand,” while flashing grim statistics about Nevada’s unemployment and foreclosure crisis.

Amodei talked about some of his solutions to the state’s fiscal woes, including expediting the permitting process to use federal lands for recreation and resource exploration. Marshall countered, saying she supported what she called streamlined permitting.

Nevada state Treasurer and Democrat CD2 candidate Kate Marshall

Both candidates shied away from answering whether they supported the Southern Nevada Water Authority’s project to import water from rural Nevada.

Marshall said the project wasn’t being done correctly, while Amodei said he supports the process of the state engineer having control and would not, as a federal official, intervene in a state-controlled decision.

Ralston started the debate asking about Libya, where a popular uprising has ousted Muammar el-Qaddafi, with the help of the United States and other countries.

Amodei said the U.S. should now enlarge its embassy there to monitor the situation and determine who is in charge while Marshall said we should first work through an intermediary there, such as a country friendly to both the U.S. and Libya.

“Mr. Amodei shows a fundamental misunderstanding of the Middle East,” said Marshall in the first jab of the debate.

Amdoei responded by saying America needed to discern the situation there for itself and not rely on outsiders.




State Board OKs $539K To Pay Counties For Costs Of Running Special CD2 Election

By Sean Whaley | 12:25 pm August 15th, 2011

CARSON CITY – The Board of Examiners today approved a request for more than half a million dollars from a legislative contingency fund to pay the counties for the cost of the Sept. 13 special election in the 2nd Congressional District.

The board, made up of Gov. Brian Sandoval, Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto and Secretary of State Ross Miller, approved the $539,000 request, which will be considered Aug. 31 by the Legislature’s Interim Finance Committee.

Miller said the other options to pay for the election were to pass the costs on to the counties or to use a dwindling pool of federal funds, but that the request from the contingency fund is the best choice. Requiring cash-strapped counties to pay the costs could lead to cutting corners, and Miller said it is important to ensure the integrity of the election.

Secretary of State Ross Miller. / Photo: Sean Whaley, Nevada News Bureau

Miller said his office made every effort to reduce the expenditures to reasonable levels. Initial estimates put the cost at in excess of $1 million

“We explored every avenue we could to try to reduce costs for the election,” he said. “The counties obviously had not budgeted for this election, so allowing them to be reimbursed from the contingency fund gives us a much greater level of comfort that they will ultimately run the election as the public would expect.”

Miller said the use of federal Help America Vote Act (HAVA) funds was not recommended because the amount of money in the account is dwindling. The money has in the past been used to buy the electronic voting machines used in the state’s 17 counties for elections. The state has used just under $150,000 in HAVA funds for the special election, in part to provide replacement voting machines, he said.

Miller said it is too early to estimate the turnout in the election, which pits Mark Amodei, a former state senator, as the Republican, versus state Treasurer Kate Marshall, the Democrat. The race also includes Independent American Party candidate Tim Fasano and independent Helmuth Lehmann. The candidates are seeking to replace former Rep. Dean Heller, who was appointed to the U.S. Senate by Sandoval to replace John Ensign, who resigned.

But Miller said he does expect a low turnout in the race, which encompasses 16 of the state’s 17 counties plus a portion of Clark County.

“I think it’s going to be very low, just based upon the feedback that we have received and in conversations with the county clerks,” he said. “I think it is a little bit early to try to guess at the turnout percentage because the campaigns and the national parties obviously over the next few weeks will start expending significant sums of money trying to get people out to the polls, and so that could certainly influence turnout, but I still don’t think it’s going to be a very high turnout election.”

Secretary of State Ross Miller says using the legislative contingency fund to pay for the election is the best option:

081511Miller1 :24 funds for us.”

Miller says he expects a low turnout:

081511Miller2 :27 high turnout election.”

Secretary Of State Seeks $539K To Pay Counties For Costs Of Special CD2 Election

By Sean Whaley | 3:37 pm August 10th, 2011

CARSON CITY – Secretary of State Ross Miller is seeking more than half a million dollars from a legislative contingency fund to pay the counties for the cost of the Sept. 13 special election in the 2nd Congressional District.

The request for $539,137 from the Legislature’s Interim Finance Committee Contingency Fund would reimburse counties for all costs and expenses to conduct the special election to pick a replacement for Dean Heller, who was appointed to the U.S. Senate by Gov. Brian Sandoval. The fund has just under $12 million.

The request will be considered Monday by the Board of Examiners, made up of Sandoval, Miller and Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto. It will then go to the IFC on Aug. 31.

Secretary of State Ross MillerFormer state Sen. Mark Amodei, R-Carson City, is facing Democrat state Treasurer Kate Marshall in the race, which also includes Independent American Party candidate Tim Fasano and independent Helmuth Lehmann.

Counties budget for and cover the costs of administering regularly scheduled elections in Nevada, but Miller said previously that neither the counties nor the state have budgeted for costs to run a special election. As a result, Miller issued emergency regulations he said are necessary to assist the counties during a financially difficult period…and are also necessary to ensure the proper administration of the special election by the counties.

Under the emergency regulations, counties must submit invoices and other supporting documents with the request for reimbursement to the Secretary of State’s office following the election.

Miller said reimbursement of eligible costs and expenses “will be contingent upon available and authorized state funding.”

Miller earlier rejected the notion of approving requests from Esmeralda and Nye counties to expand the number of mail ballot only precincts in their counties for the special election. Both counties claimed they would realize modest cost savings by designating more mail ballot only precincts, but Miller said his overriding concern is the integrity of the election process.

The district covers all of 16 of 17 Nevada counties, plus a small portion of Clark County. The district has 141,330 active Democrat voters, 172,281 active Republican voters and 60,519 active nonpartisan voters.

The district, created in 1981 following the 1980 U.S. Census, has always been represented by a Republican.

Republicans Have 30,000 Voter Registration Edge In CD2 As Special Election Nears

By Sean Whaley | 1:35 pm August 4th, 2011

CARSON CITY – Nevada Secretary of State Ross Miller today released statewide active voter registration numbers through the end of July.

Statewide, Republican active voters increased to 407,866, a gain of 557 over the previous month; Democrat active voters totaled 472,987, an increase of 698; and non-partisans grew by 922 voters to a total of 179,112.

Secretary of State Ross Miller

Registration in the 2nd Congressional District, where a special election will be held Sept. 13 to pick a replacement for former Rep. Dean Heller, who was appointed to the U.S. Senate, showed Democrats with 141,330 active voters, up 119 from June; Republicans, 172,281 an increase of 152 voters; and, non-partisans with 60,519 active voters, an increase of 287 over June.

The latest voter registration by county, party, age, and district can be found in the election center tab at

Important deadlines for the upcoming Special Election in CD 2 are:

-          August 13: Last day to register to vote by mail; registrations must be postmarked prior to midnight on this date.

-          August 23: Last day to register to vote in-person at the office of your county clerk or registrar of voters.

-          August 27: Early voting begins.

-          Sept. 9: Last day of early voting.

-          Sept. 13: Election Day.

Ethics Questions Arise in Judge Russell’s Special Election Ruling

By Elizabeth Crum | 4:26 pm August 3rd, 2011

Should Carson City Judge and special election “ballot royale” squasher James Todd Russell have disclosed the fact that he co-owns land with Republican candidate Mark Amodei?

Judicial ethics rules do state that judges should avoid even the appearance of impropriety.

Ralston’s got the full scoop including remarks Russell made to the Reno Gazette-Journal‘s Ray Hagar and the judicial canons that apply.

In a nutshell, Russell did not disclose that he and Amodei own a mining claim worth about $500, even though Amodei was (1) the chairman of the Nevada Republican Party, which was the plaintiff in the lawsuit before Russell concerning special election rules and (2) a candidate who would benefit (or not) from Russell’s ruling.

As it turned out, Russell ruled that the Republican and Democratic Party central committees would nominate the candidates, so Amodei did benefit. The Nevada Supreme Court later upheld Russell’s ruling.

Russell claims he did not know whether Amodei was running (I guess he was the only person in the state who hadn’t yet heard the news), and that Amodei himself was not a party to the lawsuit (i.e. that the Party was the party).

Even so, as Ralston wrote:

…Russell’s strange ethics taint the process and raise questions about his lack of disclosure and relationship with Amodei.


Secretary of State Issues Emergency Regulation to Fund Special Election

By Nevada News Bureau Staff | 12:15 pm July 20th, 2011

CARSON CITY — The state’s chief election official says special measures are needed to ensure proper administration in the upcoming special election.

File photo of Secretary of State Ross Miller / Photo by Cathleen Allison

An emergency regulation prepared by Secretary of State Ross Miller and enacted today will guide the reimbursement of costs incurred by the counties for the September 13 special election for Nevada’s second congressional district.

The election is expected to cost Nevada’s 17 counties a total of nearly $1 million.

Miller determined that the challenges the counties will face in paying for the special election are sufficient to trigger emergency regulation provisions, he said in an announcement released to the press Wednesday.

Counties budget for and cover the costs of administering regularly scheduled elections in Nevada, but Miller said neither the counties nor the state have budgeted for costs to run a special election. As a result, he concluded the regulations “are necessary to assist the counties during a financially difficult period…and are also necessary to ensure the proper administration of the Special Election by the counties.”

Under the emergency regulation, counties must submit invoices and other supporting documents with the request for reimbursement to the Secretary of State’s office following the election.

Miller said reimbursement of eligible costs and expenses “will be contingent upon available and authorized state funding”, according to the wording of the regulation.

The emergency regulation is in effect for 120 days and applies only to the special election to fill the vacancy in the 2nd Congressional District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Secretary Of State Rejects Requests For Mail Ballot Only Precincts For Special Election

By Sean Whaley | 4:34 pm July 7th, 2011

CARSON CITY – Secretary of State Ross Miller has denied requests from Esmeralda and Nye counties to expand the number of mail ballot only precincts in their counties for the special election to fill the 2nd Congressional District seat set for Sept. 13.

While both counties claimed they would realize modest cost savings by designating more mail ballot only precincts, Miller said his overriding concern is the integrity of the election process.

Secretary of State Ross Miller

“This election is already on a greatly expedited timeline,” Miller said. “My first and foremost objective is to conduct an error-free election and I’m concerned that unknown challenges are likely to arise in implementing a new and different process in such short order.”

Legislation passed in the 2011 session allows the secretary of state, at the request of county elections officials, the discretion to designate new mail ballot only precincts that would not otherwise qualify under the older statute.

Miller asked each county last month to provide his office with itemized cost estimates for printing, postage, additional staff time, and other expenses related to mail ballot only precincts. He also asked local elections officials to address any administrative problems or concerns they might anticipate.

Miller said at the time he has confidence in the state’s electronic voting machines.

“And so absent a very good reason to depart from the electronic machines I don’t think we’ll do it in the special election, but we certainly want to explore whether or not there are any cost savings to try to reduce the cost to taxpayers of going to the special election,” he said in an interview last month.

The cost savings to Nye County was estimated at less than $500 and about $2,000 for Esmeralda County.

Miller is also reminding local elections officials and all Nevada voters that Assembly Bill 473, a bill sponsored by county clerks and registrars, contains a provision that changes the deadline for registering to vote for the special election. The deadline for registering to vote for the special election on the secretary of state’s calendar will be changed from August 27 to August 23.

The special election is being held to pick a replacement for Dean Heller, who was appointed to the U.S. Senate earlier this year.

Amodei Wins Republican Nomination for Congressional Special Election

By Elizabeth Crum | 9:49 am June 19th, 2011

SPARKS — Former Republican Party of Nevada Chairman Mark Amodei yesterday blew out the competition and became his party’s nominee for the 2nd congressional district special election on Sept. 13.

Amodei needed 162 of 323 member votes to win. He pulled in 221 votes compared to state Sen. Greg Brower who earned 56 votes and retired U.S. Navy Cmdr. Kirk Lippold who received 46 votes.

It now remains to be seen whether the party’s nomination will stay in effect through the general election. The state Supreme Court could effectively invalidate the nomination if it rules in favor of a so-called free-for-all among the more than two dozen candidates who have so far filed with the Secretary of State.

The initial decision to hold an open ballot election was made by Secretary of State Ross Miller, who interpreted state statutes to say that no primary election should be held in a special election for Congress.

But Republicans argued that state statutes say it is up to the political parties to nominate candidates. District Court Judge James T. Russell ruled in their favor, however Miller and the Nevada Democratic Party quickly appealed to the state Supreme Court.

Amodei, who served in the state Legislature prior to his time as chairman of the state Republican party, touted his non-government work experience to the delegates gathered at the meeting.

“Twenty-four years in the private sector; that’s how I earned my living as I stand here before you today,” he said.

“I have fourteen years legislative experience, but I am not going to belabor that,” he added.

Amodei seemed relaxed and confident throughout the morning.

“I am comfortable with the fact that you folks have done your homework,” he said near the end of his speech.

Carol Howell, a delegate and northern Nevada conservative activist, asked the candidates if they would agree to honor the central committee vote and support the winner should the state Supreme Court rule in favor of a free-wheeling “ballot royale.”

Both Brower and Amodei said they would support the winner. Lippold said he would stay in the race regardless, and would also run for the seat in 2012.

Brower tried to win support by presenting strongly worded conservative policy positions, talking about his experience both as a former naval officer and U.S. Attorney, painting himself as a devoted father and husband and promising to quickly raise a large amount of campaign money if nominated.

“I will commit to you that in the first 30 days of this race, I can raise $500,000,” said Brower confidently.

In answer to a question about the current size of his campaign coffers, however, Brower acknowledged he had a big hill to climb.

“I got into this late because I was working in Carson city to balance the budget. I am really behind in the fundraising effort,” he said.

Brower was the only candidate to name his party’s potential opposition by name.

“If you like Obama and Reid and Pelosi, you’re going to love Kate Marshall,” he quipped to laughter and applause.

Brower was visibly shocked after the vote tallies were announced, but said he thought it was important for the party to get behind a single candidate. He was not specific about what kind of support he would personally offer to Amodei, though.

“We’ll see. Whatever… I’ll do whatever I can,” said Brower with a strained smile.

In contrast, Lippold was cheerful in the face of defeat and vowed to fight on, saying he was honored to be part of the process.

“To think that I was able to in six weeks come from zero to be able to stand on the stage with guys who have been here in the state for a decade working and to get the level and groundswell of support that I had today, I’m absolutely touched and honored and just grateful for the central committee and the hard work they did,” Lippold said.

Amodei spoke to the press informally for a few minutes after the results were announced. In answer to questions about his chances in the election, Amodei said he did not think a Republican win was a foregone conclusion.

“I think if you look at the district and you study the voting results, 72 months ago Jill Derby beat Dean Heller by 4,000 votes in Washoe County. If that’s not a wake-up call–” Amodei said, acknowledging that hard work will be necessary to pull off a win.

The state Supreme Court is expected to hear the special election case on June 28.


Post-election video interviews:

Mark Amodei

Greg Brower

Kirk Lippold





District Court Judge Issues Special House Election Decision, Calls Secretary of State’s Ruling “Unreasonable” and “Absurd”

By Elizabeth Crum | 1:39 pm May 23rd, 2011

In a decision that surprised many — including the Nevada Democratic Party — a district judge last Thursday overruled Secretary of State Ross Miller’s decision to permit any qualified candidate to run in a “free-for-all” in the U.S. House race to fill Dean Heller’s recently vacated seat.

According to Miller’s interpretation of the law, “qualified” would have meant collecting 100 signatures and filing (fee free) for candidacy. However, Judge James Todd Russell last week enjoined Miller from moving ahead with ballot preparation and gave the political parties until June 30 to nominate a candidate.

Russell’s written decision, issued today, called the Nevada statutes “ambiguous” and said the GOP “would suffer irreparable harm” in a free-for-all election. The decision also said Miller relied on “a single sentence” in special election law and produced “an unreasonable and absurd result” which results in “unfair treatment.”

Russell said on Friday he based his decision on the reading of two Nevada statutes that govern special and regular elections. He said they were confusing when taken as a whole and added that the Legislature should clarify the law in order to avoid future conflicts.

The 2003 special election law (passed after 9/11 to address sudden House vacancies) says there should be no primary election, but that candidates must be nominated before filing a declaration of candidacy. However, a separate statute says the major and minor parties’ central or executive committees should nominate candidates whenever a vacancy exists.

In his comments in open court Friday, Russell said the secretary of state was “picking and choosing” portions of the law when he made his decision to allow what Miller called a “ballot royale.” Russell also said it seemed unfair to have different rules for major and minor parties (the secretary of state had said minor parties could nominate only one candidate each).

Democratic attorneys argued that Miller has the authority to set election rules and that he should be given the latitude to interpret statutes.

An appeal by Miller is expected to be filed with the Nevada Supreme Court.

The decision virtually guarantees the GOP will hold the 2nd Congressional District because it prevents a crowded Republican field and subsequent splintered vote, which would have benefitted a strong Democratic candidate (hello, Kate Marshall).

Interestingly enough, Dean Heller, whose empty House seat is now at the center of the controversy, was the Secretary of State when the 2003 legislation was passed. He should have set the rules for a special election but because he never did so, Nevada finds itself headed for a state supreme court hearing.

The GOP central committee meeting and election is currently scheduled for June 18 in Sparks, NV.

Nevada Republican Party Chairman Mark Amodei has yet to step down from his post, though he announced his candidacy and is a contender for the party’s nomination.

State Senator and former U.S. attorney for Nevada Greg Brower is Amodei’s primary competition for the GOP central committee vote. Brower has been active and aggressive in recent days with the launch of his campaign website along with email and social media messages to the Republican base and central committee members.

Several Democrats are expected to compete for the nomination to fill the House vacancy including State Treasurer Kate Marshall, Nancy Price and Jill Derby.

Here is the District Court’s decision, issued Thursday from the bench. It is only 12 pages and is fairly straightforward:



State GOP Chairman Responds to Criticism About Lawsuit

By Elizabeth Crum | 11:57 am May 6th, 2011

Nevada Republican Party Chairman Mark Amodei today answered criticisms by saying he is proud of the process that preceded the GOP’s decision to move forward with a lawsuit against Secretary of State Ross Miller.

The lawsuit centers on the Secretary of State’s decision that there will be an open ballot for the September 13 special election for the open NV-2 congressional seat.

Now that Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki — the presumed favorite with many Nevada Republicans — has said he will not run, Amodei stands to benefit if a District Court favors the GOP lawsuit and decides the GOP central committee has the right to nominate a sole party candidate for the ballot.

recent poll of 100 members of the Nevada Republican Party central committee showed Krolicki with 44 percent support, while Amodei came in second with with 27 percent support.

“I understand the perceptions and corresponding criticisms about the lawsuit, and I’m glad to answer them,” said Amodei. ”I am pretty darn proud of how this was done.”

Amodei said when it first became apparent the congressional seat was going to be open, the state GOP executive committee asked for a legal opinion regarding the special election process.

“Once we received that legal opinion, which said the party had strong legal grounds for expecting that the central committee could and would nominate a Republican candidate, the executive board met and voted on the matter,” said Amodei.

“That vote in favor of moving forward with the lawsuit was 10 to zero,” said Amodei. “I was just one of the votes, and I was not part of the Special Litigation Subcommittee that was formed and oversaw the process to that point.”

Amodei said the legal opinion also recommended that if the party did choose to pursue litigation, it should also immediately schedule a central committee meeting and nominating election, in preparation for the possibility that the court might favor the suit.

“As member of the state Republican central committee, an executive board member and party chairman, when you receive a legal opinion that says there is a strong case to be made that the central committee has legal grounds to expect to be involved in the process to nominate a candidate for an election, well, if you are not willing to stand up and fight for that effort then you should not be chairman,” said  Amodei.

“I firmly believe moving forward with the lawsuit was the right thing to do for every central committee member and for every Republican, whether I was going to get in this race or not,” added Amoedi.

Amodei confirmed he is issuing a media advisory out later today and will make his candidacy official on Monday.

“I’d also like to say, I’m the last guy in the world who thinks he’s got anything locked up,” said Amodei. “If we win this lawsuit, I will have to talk to the members of the state central committee to try to earn votes just like everyone else has to do.”


Krolicki Out, Marshall In, Amodei Pending

By Elizabeth Crum | 2:15 pm May 5th, 2011

As first “guessed” by @RalstonFlash on Twitter this morning — Nevada has learned the hard way that Ralston’s guesses are not mere speculation but informed fact — Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki has formally announced that he is not going to run for Nevada’s open congressional seat.

State GOP chairman Mark Amodei will now be free to make his final decision, probably to jump in.

The success of the GOP’s lawsuit against the Secretary of State re: the special election rules is Amodei’s best shot at the congressional seat. The central committee would almost certainly nominate him now that Krolicki is out of the picture. However, in an an open election, Amodei is by no means a lock because he is not a favorite with much of the conservative base (due, among other things, to the 2003 tax hike in which he participated).

If the GOP lawsuit fails, as many on both sides of the aisle think it will, the man with the next best shot to win the hearts and minds of Republican voters is probably state Senator Greg Brower — IF he can convince enough of the GOP base that he is not an “establishment” candidate. If he cannot, then former U.S.S. Cole Cmdr. Kirk Lippold might be able to take advantage of the situation (and we can expect Lippold’s campaign to paint both Brower and Amodei as career politicians while pitching their guy as a military hero, conservative family man, and voice of the people).

As for the Democrats, State Treasurer Kate Marshall is in (also first Tweeted by Ralston, yesterday). It remains to be seen whether any other serious Dem contenders take a shot at it.






State GOP Files Suit Over NV-2 Special Election Rules, Secretary of State Declines to Comment

By Elizabeth Crum | 1:35 pm May 5th, 2011

The Nevada Republican Party today announced it has filed the expected lawsuit against Secretary of State Ross Miller over his decision regarding the rules of the September 13 special congressional election.

Ralston has a copy of the lawsuit and accompanying request for injunction on his blog.

The party seeks to prevent the Secretary of State’s office from putting on the ballot any party candidate not elected by the party’s central or executive committee.

It also complains that the Secretary of State did not “provide adequate time” for the nomination process and calls the decision “a unique and new misinterpretation” of Nevada election law.

The Secretary of State’s office has acknowledged by email that it has been served with a complaint filed in the First Judicial District Court of Nevada. An official statement said the complaint is “under review by the Secretary of State and the Attorney General’s office” and that the Secretary of State’s office “will have no further comment regarding the litigation at this time.”