Legal opinion determines only members of NRCC can run.
In a stunning last-minute development in the election for party chairman of the Nevada Republican Party – scheduled for this afternoon in Las Vegas – a legal opinion by a prestigious Nevada law firm has essentially declared Nick Phillips, the candidate challenging incumbent Chairman Michael McDonald, ineligible to run.
Here’s the email that was sent out to candidates for various party offices at 8:45 pm Friday evening by party Secretary Kathryn Njus…
“Thank you for your interest and desire to serve as an officer of the Nevada Republican Party.
“The Nomination and Candidate Recruitment Committee met the beginning of this week to review all nominations received to date for validity and eligibility to run for the position for which each applicant applied. A question came up as to whether a non-member of the NRCC was eligible to run for an officer position of the NRP. We looked to the party by-laws and NRS 293.160.
“We referred the question to NRP General Counsel for a legal opinion of the meaning of NRS 293.160(1). The legal opinion was delivered to us this afternoon and the committee was convened as soon as practicable to discuss the opinion.
“The conclusion of the lengthy opinion is a person must be a member of the Nevada Republican Party Central Committee to be considered for election as an officer of the party. If you are not a member of the Nevada Republican Central Committee, you are not eligible to run for an officer position.
Since Phillips is not a member of the state party’s Central Committee, the opinion has essentially torpedoed Phillips’ campaign. Which ought to make for an interesting floor fight after lunch
You can read the full legal brief by clicking here.
This column was originally published at Nevada News and Views on November 14, 2015.