By a 4-vote margin, libertarian activist and former Ron Paul operative Carl Bunce, now embraced by party establishment, became head of the Clark County Republican Party on Tuesday night.
Bunce was elected head of the county party on a 122-118 vote over party activist Eddie Facey, but the group of candidates supported by Bunce and members of the Republican Party establishment dubbed the “Together, We Win” slate wasn’t unanimously successful — including Jo McDonald (wife of state party chairman Michael McDonald) losing a bid for vice-chair to David Sajdak.
Bunce became acting chairman in May. In addition to running Ron Paul’s Nevada operations, he also mounted an unsuccessful primary bid against Republican Sen. Michael Roberson in 2014.
Bunce, who previously spearheaded insurrections against party elders in previous presidential cycles, noted his at-times contentious history in the party but said his goal now was to try and unite the various elements of the party.
“I know how to rebuild the party because I helped destroy it,” he said in a speech to party members.
McDonald and a group of other major Republicans — including the political firm running Sen. Dean Heller and Gov. Brian Sandoval’s campaigns of office — held a fundraiser for Bunce on Monday.
In an interview before the results were released, Bunce acknowledged that the county party had been dysfunctional for more than 20 years, and said Republicans should look to how former Sen. Harry Reid built up state Democratic Party operations in Nevada as a model.
“Elected officials go off the range because they don’t fear the Republican Party in Clark County, or any other county,” he said. “What they need to begin to do is fear us.”