Washoe County Republican Party repudiates state GOP censure of Barbara Cegavske

Associate Nevada Justice James Hardesty administered the oath of office to the newly elected constitutional officers on January 7, 2019, left to right, State Controller Katheryn Byrne, State Treasurer Zach Connine, Attorney General Aaron Ford, Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske, Lt. Governor Kate Marshall - photo: Brian Bahouth/the Ally

On April 10, the Nevada Republican Central Committee passed a resolution to censure Nevada Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske, “due to her failure to implement reasonable election security measures, failure to investigate all potential fraudulent votes, and irresponsible public statements regarding the fairness of the 2020 election.”

Barbara Cegavske is by most measures a successful politician. She was term limited out of the state Assembly and Senate and is the only Republican to currently hold a Constitutional Office in Nevada.

Team Trump was loud in its claims of voter fraud but legally light on evidence, and courts rejected unsubstantiated complaints of wrong-doing in Nevada and many other states. 

Yet, the Nevada Republican Party “is disappointed by the inaction of the Secretary of State to communicate and timely investigate claims of voter fraud in the Silver State,” wrote the state Republican Party in a press release. “While many vague and flawed sections of Nevada Revised Statutes make election integrity difficult in Nevada, the Nevada SOS had many opportunities to safeguard this election and instill voter confidence both prior to and following the election.”

Today, the Washoe County Republican Party (WCRP) issued a statement that repudiates the state party’s move to censure and remove Cegavske from the party.

“The Secretary of State was given no previous notice of the move to censure and strip her of party membership and therefore was not present at this meeting to tell her side of the story,” said WCRP Chairman Michael Kadenacy. “That the State Party leadership made presentations regarding the purported evidence of voter fraud with no opportunity for a prepared rebuttal by the Secretary of State, is an affront to any semblance of Due Process.”

Following the election, Secretary Cegavske’s office maintained, like every clerk and recorder in the state, that votes were being accurately counted. During the weeks following the election, the Trump campaign blended voter fraud misinformation with appeals for money and calls to take action, to “Stop the Steal.”

Washoe County Republicans took a step back from persistent echoes of unsubstantiated Trump claims that the elections were rigged in Nevada and in any state where Team Trump lost. In a press release, WCRP chairman Michael Kadenacy looked to the future.

“If our goal is to win elections in this next cycle, I fail to see the value of the State Party attacking the sole Republican Constitutional Officer.”