For all the talk about Republican voter registration efforts in Nevada and all the money being spent on third-party and independent voter registration programs, there’s only been one truly successful voter registration program in Nevada over the last 20 years…thank you very much.
In October 1994 – the year John Ensign defeated Rep. Jim Bilbray and was elected to Congress – Democrats outnumbered Republicans in Nevada by 11,520 voters.
In January 1995, I was elected chairman of the Clark County Republican Party. And using funds raised by Ensign and under the direction of GOP uber-consultant Benay Stout, we launched an innovative, never-been-done-before voter registration program that then-Clark County Registrar of Voters Katherine Ferguson threatened to sue us over to stop.
In October 1995 – just before the Nevada GOP hosted the Western States Republican Leadership Conference at the new MGM Grand, and after I moved up to executive director of the Nevada GOP under then-Chairman John Mason – Nevada became a Republican-majority state for the first time since Reconstruction.
In March of 1996, Dan Burdish took my job as executive director of the Nevada Republican Party and continued the program with money raised by then-Nevada GOP Finance Chairman George Harris. By October of that year, Republicans outnumbered Democrats by 4,211 voters for the ’96 election…a lead it maintained for the duration of the 90s before Burdish, Harris and I all moved on from party politics.
How’d we do it?
As the Joker said in The Dark Knight, “When you’re good at something, never do it for free.”
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