- Associated Press - Saturday, May 14, 2016

RENO, Nev. (AP) - The Latest from the Nevada Republican State Convention meeting Saturday at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center (all times local):

6:30 p.m.

A tradition unique to Nevada made an unexpected appearance at the state Republican convention in Reno when elections for alternate delegate slots at the national convention ended in ties and had to be settled by drawing cards, not once, but three different times.

Washoe County delegate Mike Weber won an at-large alternate slot Saturday night when he drew a queen of hearts that bettered Washoe County delegate Harriet Newman’s seven of clubs. Newman initially offered to withdraw, explaining that she can’t touch cards because of a past gambling addiction.

But convention budget chairman Rob Tyree allowed another delegate, Staci Grunewald of Clark County, to draw the card for her.

Ties also had to be broken in races for alternate slots in the 2nd and 3rd congressional districts.

John Carey’s ace of spades beat Gwen Linde’s king of clubs in the 2nd district. Longtime GOP strategist Robert Uithoven also had tied with them, but he was not present when the cards were drawn.

In the 3rd district, Robert Thomas Grotz’s queen of hearts trumped Carolyn Harris’ seven of clubs.


3:15 p.m.

Nevada Republicans have elected their national committee members to the GOP national convention - one who has supported Donald Trump all along and one who says he’s now on the Trump train.

Dianna Orrock, who endorsed Trump last fall, was re-elected as national committeewoman with 792 votes at the state convention where 1,086 delegates gathered in Reno on Saturday.

Elko County GOP Chairman Lee Hoffman won the race for committeeman with 453 votes.

Hoffman said he initially supported Scott Walker, then Ben Carson, and then Ted Cruz for president. But he says his current favorite is “anybody but Hillary” Clinton, and he now backs Trump “101 percent.”

Trump won Nevada’s caucuses in February. The delegates still must elect 27 people to join Orrock, Hoffman and state GOP Chairman Michael McDonald as the 30 delegates representing Nevada at the national convention in Cleveland in July.


12:25 p.m.

Nevada Republicans gathering at their state convention Reno have agreed to place limits on the size of their party platform so as to appeal to a broader base of voters in the November elections.

State Chairman Michael McDonald told the 1,008 delegates that the proposed platform won’t be printed until the end of the day.

But in the meantime, Washoe County delegate Tom Dickman proposed striking rules intended to streamline the platform so as to be less controversial. Dickman says restricting the platform is a bad idea because the country is in bad shape and people have a wide variety of concerns.

Fellow Washoe County delegate Mark Deeter disagreed. He says the GOP has to reach out to independents to win the White House and that every time another platform plank is added, it limits the party’s broad appeal. The majority agreed with him on a voice vote.


10:10 a.m.

Nevada Republican Party Chairman Michael McDonald opened the GOP’s state convention with a plea for unity in the bid to take back the White House in November.

Hundreds of delegates broke into chants of “Trump, Trump, Trump” at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center on Saturday as McDonald urged them to get behind the party’s presumptive presidential candidate, Donald Trump.

McDonald says it’s no secret that Nevada Republicans have been plagued by party infighting in recent years. He said time to unite, and that can’t happen if individuals have selfish agendas.

Republican Congressman Joe Heck, who’s running for the U.S. Senate, echoed that call in a videotaped message while he’s serving this weekend in the National Guard. He says it’s time to come together as a party and keep Hillary Clinton out of the White House.

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