Nevada Republican Party Chairman Michael McDonald will face at least two challengers in his bid for another term leading the state party, including a recently elected Mesquite city councilwoman and a former congressional candidate.
Dave McKeon, who lost a primary bid in 2018 for the state’s 3rd Congressional District and headed the Clark County party in 2013, announced earlier this week that he and FairTax Nevada state director Michael B. Jack planned to run for chair and vice-chair of the state party during its fall meeting in September.
Mesquite City Councilwoman Annie Black, elected in 2018, confirmed in a brief interview on Thursday that she is also running for the position of party chair.
McKeon, who set up a political action committee and website to support his bid, said in an announcement that he was seeking to reverse “ineffective leadership and stale thinking that has plagued our State party.”
“We are grassroots conservatives who are increasingly disgruntled that our conservative way of life in Nevada continues to deteriorate, losing ground at all levels of government which in turn, negatively impacts all of us,” they wrote in an announcement.
McDonald, a former Las Vegas City Council member, has headed the state party since 2012, winning re-election over Las Vegas Sands lobbyist and political operative Robert Uithoven in 2013 and former Assembly candidate Nick Phillips in 2015. McDonald is considered close with President Donald Trump, who spoke at the party’s 2018 convention and hosted a fundraiser for the party in 2016.
In a statement, McDonald said the party was in "shambles" when he took over in 2012, and that he had helped rebuild the party's relationship with the Republican National Committee and had won support from many lawmakers and party officials.
"A spirited debate for Chair is good for the Party, and once this race is over, I look forward to leading a united Nevada GOP committed to sending more Republicans to Carson City and re-electing President Trump in 2020," he said in a statement.
McDonald has been endorsed for re-election by Rep. Mark Amodei, 13 state lawmakers including Senate Republican Leader James Settemeyer and Assembly Republican leader Robin Titus, and several former elected officials including former Attorney General Adam Laxalt, former Lieutenant Governor Mark Hutchison, former Rep. Cresent Hardy and former Gov. Robert List.
Selection of all state party executive board officers will happen during the party’s fall meeting in Winnemucca on Sept. 7.