If memory serves me correctly, it was exactly 20 years ago today that I was “accidentally” elected Chairman of the Clark County Republican Party…and I’ve been actively involved in conservative politics, full-time, ever since.
Seems like only yesterday…
The election was held at the Showboat Hotel on Boulder Highway…which is nothing more than an empty parking lot today.
I say I was elected accidentally because I was running against two other guys and longtime party activists – Greg Millspaugh and Jerry Winkler. Half the Central Committee hated Winkler and the other half hated Millspaugh. I was the new kid on the block, so not enough people knew me well enough to hate me…yet.
That situation has clearly changed considerably since then!
Anyway, two major factors led to my right place/right time election:
(1) George Harris, the outgoing chairman, and Republican National Committeeman Tom “Big Dog” Wiesner endorsed my candidacy and threw an open-bar reception in my honor before the meeting. Nothing like getting your voters “liquored up” before an election!
(2) Because it was a three-way race, no candidate received 50 percent-plus-one on the first ballot. Now, our team knew the rules and knew that would mean a second ballot run-off election. So our peeps stuck around. But a considerable number from the other two teams thought it would be a one-and-done plurality election…so they went home right after they cast their first ballot.
And the rest, as they say, is history.
I should point out that back in those days the party didn’t have the benefit of a Republican governor. But considering what the party has in a governor today, I dare say we were better off 20 years ago.