Wimmer's Nevada GOP future remains 'confusing'

Published: Wednesday, June 6 2012 8:21 p.m. MDT

Update: Carl Wimmer scheduled to hold a noon news conference at the University of Utah's Hinckley Institute of Politics

SALT LAKE CITY — So does former state lawmaker and unsuccessful congressional candidate Carl Wimmer have a job with the Nevada Republican Party?

"It is very confusing," Wimmer spokeswoman Cindie Quintana said Wednesday as Wimmer was trying to sort out the situation in Las Vegas after that state's party chairman said he had not been hired as political director.

"Lots of meetings today," Wimmer tweeted early Wednesday. "Very surprised by the disconnect but looking forward to everyone getting on the same page. Staying positive!" he continued.

Two hours later, Wimmer tweeted that he was having breakfast with the executive director of the Nevada Republican Party. Quintana said Wimmer was spending the day with his dining companion, Jesse Law.

Trouble is, Law is apparently not the party's executive director, at least not yet. The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported Law was in line for the job as an aide to Nevada GOP Chairman Michael McDonald, but that may not happen now.

Neither Law nor McDonald returned telephone calls seeking clarification. Nevada GOP officials were expected to meet Wednesday night to discuss personnel issues, but several members of the group said it wasn't clear the meeting would be held.

Wimmer "understands Jesse is the executive director," Quintana said, noting it was Law who hired Wimmer. But it was McDonald, chairman of the party, that said Wimmer did not have the job.

"There definitely needs to be some clarification. I understand there is some confusion," Quintana said.

That's when the tweets stopped coming from Wimmer, who also did not return telephone calls.

Quintana said he wants to share his story but is still gathering "details and correct information" about his status. "It's really disheartening to him to not be able to fully engage and disclose what's taking place," she said.

"It's like a bad soap opera," University of Nevada, Las Vegas political science professor David Damore said.

Wimmer, he said, may be a victim of the fight over control of the Nevada GOP, led by supporters of Libertarian-leaning presidential candidate Ron Paul.

"They're in the process obviously, of moving out all the non-Ron Paul people, so I think your guy caught some of that," Damore said.

Law, the would-be executive director, is a Paul backer. Wimmer, a founder of the Utah Legislature's conservative Patrick Henry Caucus, has backed Mitt Romney, the presumptive GOP presidential nominee.

Damore said it probably didn't help that it was Wimmer himself who announced his new position with the Nevada party, causing some grumbling about what a Utahn would know about Silver State politics.

"That might have been some of the pushback," he said.

Wimmer stepped down from the Utah Legislature to run for the state's new 4th Congressional District seat, but was out of the race after delegates to the state GOP convention in April made Saratoga Springs Mayor Mia Love the party's nominee.

He reportedly was recommended for the Nevada job by lobbyist and Republican fundraiser Chuck Warren, a partner in the Las Vegas-based Silver Bullet firm that specializes in ballot issues, including the effort to stop so-called secret ballots seen as favorable to unions.

Wimmer sponsored the constitutional amendment on the issue in Utah that was later approved by voters in 2010. The pair are also members of the national advisory committee for an Arizona group advocating for a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Warren did not return a telephone call to his company.

E-mail: lisa@desnews.com

Twitter: dnewspolitics

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