- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 27, 2016

RENO, Nev. (AP) - Police were called and at least two people sought medical attention after a Washoe County Republican Central Committee meeting got out of hand, authorities and witnesses said.

Reno police Officer Tim Broadway said law enforcement responded to reports of a physical disturbance Tuesday night at the Peppermill casino in Reno. He said police interviewed attendees but didn’t arrest anyone, and no charges had been filed.

Witnesses who spoke to the Reno Gazette-Journal (https://on.rgj.com/1SBICdE) said tensions rose over the election of five at-large executive board members and 52 members of the state Republican central committee. Acting chair Tom Dickman said a group of about 45 people who are known to cause disturbances began shouting and trying to disrupt the meeting.

The situation became physical when it was decided that the ballot-counting would be postponed until Monday when an official ballot-counter returned from a trip. Some people at the meeting objected to the delayed count and the fact that the meeting was being cut off before the full agenda was complete.

Republican state Sen. Don Gustavson said a man he didn’t recognize tried to stop him from storing the ballots in a vault at the Peppermill. The man grabbed him and a box of ballots fell to floor, said Gustavson, who added that he wasn’t sure if he would seek charges.

“I didn’t want to get involved with this,” Gustavson told the newspaper. “I haven’t gone to central committee meetings lately because of issues with five or six members who are actively involved in creating havoc and making sure nothing gets done.”

The meeting was the first since all four executive board members resigned their seats at once a few weeks ago, citing internal rifts. Two of those members - Barbie Hawn and Tom Dickman - rescinded their resignations on Tuesday.

The committee is expected to elect a new chairman and treasurer at a meeting on July 28.

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