Pence, Scott choose state-run primary over party-run caucus

By: - October 13, 2023 5:02 pm

Former VP Mike Pence and North Carolinar Sen. Tim Scott. (Photos by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Former vice-president Mike Pence and South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott have filed to compete in Nevada’s Feb. 6 state-run presidential primary. Pence filed Thursday, and Scott filed Friday.

Under legislation enacted in 2021, the state is required to hold presidential primaries.

The Nevada State Republican Party has opposed the primary, and earlier this year announced it would instead hold a caucus on Feb. 8, two days after the primary. Former president Donald Trump, businessman Vivek Ramaswamy, and North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum had filed to participate in the caucus, according to The Associated Press. Friday, the state party announced former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie would be joining them. 

The state party has declared that anyone who filed for the state-run primary will not be allowed to compete in the party-run caucus. 

Two Republican presidential contests within two days of each other is expected to create substantial confusion among Republican voters.

The Republican caucus has also been criticized as a made-for Trump affair. The chairman of the state Republican Party, Michael McDonald, the chair of the Clark County Republican Party, Jesse Law, and the party’s Nevada national committeeman, Jim DeGraffenried, were all fake electors who participated in the Trump scheme to overturn the 2020 election results.

The final day of candidate filing for both contests is Monday. 

As of closing of the Secretary of State’s office 5 p.m. Friday, former Gov. Nikki Haley, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, and former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson – who like Pence, Scott, Ramaswamy and Burgum have qualified for at least one of the nationally televised debates so far this year – had not filed for either the Nevada state primary or the Republican Party caucus. 

Nevada will be the third state in the Republican nominating process, following Iowa and New Hampshire. However, candidates have paid scant if any attention to Nevada, focusing instead on the two earlier states and South Carolina, the next state on the primary calendar after Nevada.

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