Nevada GOP sues to hold presidential caucus over primary in 2024
LAS VEGAS — The Nevada Republican Party is suing the state in an effort to maintain its party-run caucuses, even as Nevada shifts to a presidential primary system beginning in 2024.
Nevada lawmakers ditched the presidential caucus model in 2021, passing a law that says all major political parties with more than one candidate must hold their primary on the first Tuesday in February. The move pushed Nevada closer to the front of the presidential nominating calendar, upending decades of political tradition.
The Republican Party, which has most recently kept Nevada’s caucuses as its fourth contest, opposed the change.
Now, GOP leaders in the Western state are seeking a court order that would shield their party from holding a state-run primary on Feb. 6. The lawsuit – filed in Carson City by Republican National Committeewoman Sigal Chattah, who ran unsuccessfully last year for state attorney general – names Nevada and Secretary of State Cisco Aguilar as defendants.
In a statement, the Nevada Republican Party said it looks forward to the court upholding a political party’s right to choose how it will nominate a presidential candidate.
If their request is denied, the lawsuit asks for an alternative ruling that would allow the party to conduct a parallel caucus and, if the party chooses to do so, assign its delegate votes based on the caucus results instead of the primary results.
The secretary of state’s office did not immediately respond to requests for comment from The Associated Press.
A spokeswoman for the state Democratic Party said in a statement that the lawsuit is the latest attempt by the GOP to restrict access to voting and “limit as many voices as possible.”
State-run primary elections, which use secret ballots, are considered easier to participate in than in-person neighborhood caucus meetings, where voters must publicly disclose their preferred candidate.
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