Republicans may attempt to oust Fiore as National Committeewoman

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Photo from City of Las Vegas Mayor Pro Tem Michele FIore's Twitter feed announcing her "Black Engagement Coordinator" Michael J. Armstrong Jr.
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Photo from City of Las Vegas Mayor Pro Tem Michele FIore’s Twitter feed announcing her “Black Engagement Coordinator” Michael J. Armstrong Jr.

The head of the Clark County Republican Party, David Sajdak, says an investigation by the state party of alleged “racially charged” comments made by Las Vegas Mayor Pro Tem Michele Fiore this weekend at the county convention is “a smokescreen.” 

“They aren’t doing anything,” Sajdak said of the Nevada GOP.  “We asked them this morning how many of the 200 statements we have from people who heard it they’d like to see. They don’t want them.”  

Members of the county party are contemplating an effort to oust Fiore as Nevada’s Republican National Committeewoman in light of her remarks, which were allegedly about affirmative action.  Party officials have declined to repeat the alleged statement. 

Fiore is up for re-election to the committee post this weekend at the Republican state convention, which is being held virtually out of concerns about COVID-19.  

“We can move to refuse to accept the rules and change them to accept nominations from the floor.  We are exploring it,” Sajdak said.  

“She can’t be the face of the Republican Party as the national committeewoman after these statements,” said Sajdak. The county party has not made a transcript or recording of Fiore’s statements available. 

Fiore did not respond to requests for comment.  

Clark County Republican Party member Louise Ferrara says she “unfortunately” heard Fiore’s remarks and heard her “refer to giving up a job for ‘someone’s black ass.’”

“It was very uncomfortable. There were many Black candidates there who had to speak after her,” says Ferrara.  “They were very gracious.  They never mentioned it.”

“We need good behavior.  We’re Republicans,” Ferrara said. “You can’t do that and then ask for someone’s vote.”

Within hours of the rebuke by Clark County Republicans, Fiore took to Twitter to introduce her “Black Engagement Coordinator for my office for the City of Las Vegas.” 

A spokesperson for the city says the position does not exist. 

“Since we do not have that position there is no job description or a salary for it,” public information officer Jace Radke said via email in response to an information request from the Current.  “I understand that there was a tweet about an individual with that title, but that individual is not employed by the city of Las Vegas.”

The tweet features a picture of Fiore with Michael J. Armstrong Jr., who Fiore refers to in her tweet as ‘Little Mike.’ Fiore is shown holding a photo of George Floyd, the man who was killed when a Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck for just under nine minutes. Armstrong Jr. is holding a photo of Metro Officer Shay Mikalonis, who was shot by a passerby, according to police, as officers responded to a June 1 protest of Floyd’s death. Mikalonis is in critical condition, according to University Medical Center.  

Armstrong Jr. describes himself in his Twitter bio as a Hope for Prisoners mentor and a Trump supporter.  He appears in a Black Voices for Trump video.

Dana Gentry
Reporter | Dana Gentry is a native Las Vegan and award-winning investigative journalist. She is a graduate of Bishop Gorman High School and holds a Bachelor's degree in Communications from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Gentry began her career in broadcasting as an intern at Channel 8, KLAS-TV. She later became a reporter at Channel 8, working with Las Vegas TV news legends Bob Stoldal and the late Ned Day. Gentry left her reporting job in 1985 to focus on motherhood. She returned to TV news in 2001 to launch "Face to Face with Jon Ralston" and the weekly business programs In Business Las Vegas and Vegas Inc, which she co-anchored with Jeff Gillan. Dana has four adult children, a grandson, three dogs, three cats and a cockatoo named Casper.