Republican Party Of Nevada Tells GOP Presidential Candidates To Pay Up For Caucus Spot

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Mary Lou Masters Contributor
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The Republican Party of Nevada is requiring all 2024 GOP presidential hopefuls pay a $55,000 fee to participate in its caucus on Feb. 8, which will determine which candidate receives the state’s delegates, The Messenger reported Wednesday.

A new law is implementing a presidential primary for 2024, which the state GOP has strongly opposed, as it’s held caucuses for decades to decide the Republican nominee. Candidates who pay the price tag to make the caucus will simultaneously be barred from participating in the state’s ballot on Feb. 6, which serves as the Nevada Republican Party’s latest attempt to thwart the primary system, according to The Messenger.

“The rules are very, very easy: If you want to come into Nevada, you’ve got to go through the caucus on February 8,” Nevada Republican Party Chairman Michael McDonald told the outlet. (RELATED: One State Is Holding Two Votes On The Republican Nominee – So Which One Counts?)

Nevada’s GOP sued the state in late May over the legislation signed by former Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak in 2021. A judge denied the Republican Party’s request to block the state primary on July 10, but clarified it could still hold its caucus and choose to award its delegates through those results.

The new fee is designed to keep the Republican hopefuls from having their names on the primary ticket, and convince them to solely participate in the caucuses, according to The Messenger. The state GOP will partially refund candidates who pay the fee with $20,000 if they also take part in a party-run fundraising event.

Iowa holds the first-in-the-nation nominating contest on Jan. 15, but will not charge candidates a fee for its caucuses, according to The Messenger.

“The GOP caucus has been running in Nevada since 1981, so it is a historical, well-established election process,” National Committeewoman Sigal Chattah said in a statement provided to the Daily Caller News Foundation. “Candidates who wish to earn delegates for the Presidential nomination are limited to caucus participation – they cannot participate in a state-run beauty contest that is not sanctioned or approved by the party and expect to earn legitimate Republican delegates.”

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – AUGUST 04: Nevada Republican Party Chairman Michael McDonald speaks to people gathered to protest against the passage of a mail-in voting bill during a Nevada Republican Party demonstration at the Grant Sawyer State Office Building. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Voters simply cast a ballot for their preferred candidate in person or by mail in a primary system, and tabulating results can occur over several days or weeks. In a caucus system, party members lobby for their preferred candidates to reach a decision, which takes place on a single day to produce results quickly.

The Nevada GOP prefers its caucus process because of its same-day results, transparent paper ballot counting and several other reasons. Other Republicans in the state argue it weakens the voice of voters, and favors the candidacy of former President Donald Trump.

“Nevada is also a state that issues a mail-in ballot to each registered voter. These will not count toward a caucus. This method is preferred for those who struggle with transportation, are sick, or elderly,” former chair of the state GOP Amy Tarkanian previously told the DCNF. “Telling Nevada Republicans their vote will not matter if they participate in the state-mandated primary will cause anger, apathy, and confusion. Many question why bother if you don’t have the time to set aside to take part in a caucus.”

Nevada’s Secretary of State’s office declined to comment due to ongoing litigation.

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