The Nevada Democratic Party has elected Nevada State Assemblywoman Daniele Monroe-Moreno to lead the party, ousting the incumbent chair Judith Whitmer, a self-styled democratic socialist.
Democratic Party members elected Monroe-Moreno by a vote of 314–99 over Whitmer on Saturday.
Monroe-Moreno ran as the moderate candidate, leading a slate of self-styled “unity” candidates to lead the state party. Monroe-Moreno said her victory by a margin of more than three to one came after her predecessor had created division within the party after taking control two years prior.
Whitmer’s leadership had unsettled the existing state party apparatus. After Whitmer and her democratic socialist wing swept the party leadership elections in 2021, the entire staff of the Nevada Democratic Party resigned.
Powerful Nevada Democratic operatives also pulled much of their funds away from the official party structure and formed a new fundraising structure to support incumbent Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak and incumbent Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez-Masto in the 2022 elections.
While the Nevada Democratic Party continues to hold majorities in both state houses and its congressional delegation, Republican gubernatorial candidate Joe Lombardo unseated the incumbent Sisolak in the 2022 election. Cortez-Masto narrowly won her own reelection with 48.8 percent of the vote while Republican candidate Adam Laxalt took 48 percent of the vote.
Nevada’s other Democratic senator, Jacky Rosen, is up for reelection in 2024, and pundits have described her as one of the more vulnerable Democratic seats in an election cycle where party resources will be stretched more thinly defending 23 Senate seats compared to the 10 Republican senators up for reelection.
“2024 is far too important, and the division within our party had to come to an end,” Monroe-Moreno told the Nevada Independent following her victory on Saturday.
“It wasn’t going to do anyone any good,” Monroe-Moreno added. “The 2022 election cycle was difficult. We won a lot of seats, but we did it with division and we can’t continue to do that. So I ran so we can bring the family, the Democratic family, back together.”
The leadup to the party election also saw another contentious moment over claims Whitmer purged 230 members from the party’s central committee, or about 40 percent of the committee; 40 central committee members subsequently sent a letter to Whitmer, accusing her actions of being “deeply alarming” and “[raised] serious doubts about the integrity of the upcoming election.”
Whitmer also faced accusations she had unethically steered party funds toward a political ally, Chris Roberts, by granting a $34,000 contract to his Silver and Blue LLC for “IT and communications services.”
State party officials also accused Whitmer of undermining Democratic candidates in the 2022 elections, such as Cortez-Masto.
Whitmer denied the allegations against her, telling NBC her accusers were “launching a smear campaign against me, personally.”
Addressing claims she had undermined Democratic Party candidates, Whitmer said: “It’s so strange to hear that. I have not worked against them.”
Whitmer launched a counteraccusation that those challenging her were motivated by consultants and special interests who wanted to profit off politics.
The party infighting went beyond mere differences in political opinions. Members of Whitmer’s own democratic socialist wing, who had initially supported her, broke ranks with her before the party election. The Las Vegas chapter of Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), had supported Whitmer in 2021 but said they “saw no significant organization” toward the political views they held in common and not enough was being done to stand up to the more moderate wing of the party, dominated by allies of the late Democratic Nevada Sen. Harry Reid.
“We saw the ostensibly-progressive coalition move more and more to the center, making administrative and political choices that were more in line with the corporatists that we pledged to beat than the grassroots organizers who pushed the initial victory,” the Las Vegas DSA chapter said. “As the Ghost of the Reid Machine played dirty trick after dirty trick, the ostensibly progressive leadership oscillated between playing respectability politics and making compromises to the center.”
From NTD News
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