Politics
Nevada Republicans, from left, Mark Amodei, Kirk Lippold and Greg Brower debate Wednesday, June 15, 2011, in Reno, Nev., in an effort to become the GOP candidate for the September special election for a vacant U.S. house seat. The 2nd District seat is open after Gov. Brian Sandoval appointed incumbent GOP Rep. Dean Heller to fill the unexpired term of U.S. Sen. John Ensign. (AP PHOTO/CATHLEEN ALLISON)
 Nevada Republicans, from left, Mark Amodei, Kirk Lippold and Greg Brower debate Wednesday, June 15, 2011, in Reno, Nev., in an effort to become the GOP candidate for the September special election for a vacant U.S. house seat. The 2nd District seat is open after Gov. Brian Sandoval appointed incumbent GOP Rep. Dean Heller to fill the unexpired term of U.S. Sen. John Ensign. (AP PHOTO/CATHLEEN ALLISON)   

Mark Amodei gets Republican nomination for Nevada special election

Photo of Alexis Levinson
Alexis Levinson
Political Reporter

The Republican Party of Nevada on Saturday picked Mark Amodei to be their nominee in the special election in Congressional District 2.

In a vote by the Nevada GOP Central Committee, Amodei won on the first ballot with 221 votes. The other two candidates nominated by the Central Committee, Commander Kirk Lippold and Greg Brower, got 56 and 46 votes, respectively.

Until recently, Amodei served as the chairman of the Nevada GOP; his replacement will be elected in a later vote on Saturday. He is also a former Nevada state senator.

The choice is not necessarily final, however. A Nevada Supreme Court hearing later in June could overturn the lower court’s decision that gave the central committees of each party the power to choose a nominee, in which case the election would return to a free-for-all in which any candidate who wished could enter.

Brower has said he will drop out of the race now and not continue to campaign, pending a court decision, in the interest of uniting the party behind a single candidate. Lippold, who announced that he would run for the seat in 2012, before the vacancy was even announced, has said he will continue to run until the court makes a decision, and that he will still run for the seat in 2012.

A source involved in one of the campaigns explained that Lippold’s insistence that he would not drop out of the race if he was not nominated by the Central Committee lost him a number of votes over the past five days for “not being a good Republican” and helping the party coalesce behind a single candidate.

A Nevada-based Republican strategist said Lippold’s refusal to drop out did not play well.

“Like a spoiled kid on the playground,” the consultant said.

(Nevada judge rules in favor of Republicans on special election rules)

In a statement, Lippold called his performance in the Central Committee election a “victory.”

“As someone who has not spent years entrenched inside the political system in Nevada, I am extremely encouraged, and more energized than ever by the level of support I have received from people throughout the district,” Lippold said. “My message of conservative leadership and putting an end to business as usual politics has clearly resonated.”

Philip Stutts, a strategist for Lippold’s campaign, was even more blunt.

“This is the craziest election scenario. We went from planning a June 2012 primary, to a September 2011 primary, to a 26-day primary in which the frontrunner had already been elected by this body, and Greg Brower had spent 13 years building relationships with republican party insiders,” Stutts said.

“Mark Amodei has already been elected state body chairman,” he said, and given that scenario, they had not expected a win. The Central Committee vote, he said, was about figuring out, “could we even be competitive for second place. And we were, against a guy who’s been in politics for 13 years in the state. We’re excited, we’re encouraged, and we plan to run again.”

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  • gooners

    So why is Nevada having a special election? I can’t seem to find a mention of it in the article. Weird.

  • savage24

    Being a registered voter in this country doesn’t necessarily mean that your vote or your opinion means anything. Look and what we usually end up with in the general elections. It’s usually what the establishment politicians want, and we the electorate hold our noses and vote for the lesser of two evils. The openly corrupt politicians running this country are living proof of this political policy.

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  • virginiagentleman

    Is there a part of ‘ let the people decide’ that is not understood in Nevada? Appears to be just another case of that age old republican, ‘ Next in line ‘crap! Seriously, this is why I no longer am a republican! What’s the problem with letting Nevada VOTERS decide? I’m sure Mr. Amodei is a good choice, but I’d rather the citizens of Nevada decide, not the damn party. What part of ‘WE THE PEOPLE’ does the republican party not understand? VOTE for PEOPLE. never party! Just sayin’!!

  • lollytyg

    Unless you’re a registered voter in Nevada, your opinion means nothing.

  • redbankrick

    Hey was this cleared by Dick Armey & Freedomwonks??? How about the Teabagger Express Bus of fools?? You know nothing can be done w/ out their anointings and blessing.