GOP state convention in Carson City this weekend

Republican National Committee Chairman Jim Nicholson will address the party's state convention in Carson City this weekend.

Party committee meetings begin Thursday morning at the Ormsby House. Platform and other meetings will continue Friday as well.

Convention organizers were hoping to get presidential candidate George W. Bush or his father, the former president, to attend but have not yet announced any commitment by the Bush family.

George W. Bush is, however, scheduled to attend a private fundraiser at Lake Tahoe in June.

Nicholson will speak Friday night at a barbecue at the Governor's Mansion. Officials said that will be the first even held in the newly remodeled back yard pavilion outside the mansion.

U.S. Senate candidate John Ensign and House candidate Jon Porter are expected to be the centers of attention at the convention.

Ensign is running for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Democrat Richard Bryan. The former congressman lost one of the closest Senate races in history to Sen. Harry Reid in 1998. He announced for Bryan's seat almost immediately after Bryan's surprise retirement announcement.

Porter is a state senator from Las Vegas who is trying to unseat first-term Democrat Shelley Berkley. The national GOP has targeted that seat, describing Berkley as vulnerable.

Incumbent Rep. Jim Gibbons, whose district covers all of the state except Las Vegas, is also expected to attend. His re-election is not considered in jeopardy by political observers.

Saturday's events include a dinner-fashion show presented by Macy's and Harley Davidson featuring Republican men from Nevada governmental agencies.

The convention will also feature author David Horowitz, head of the Committee for a Non-Left Majority, and Ben Stein, host of the Comedy Central quiz show "Win Ben Stein's Money."

The convention winds up Saturday with election of a new central committee, delegates to the national convention in June and approval of a platform.

Democratic convention was held this past weekend in Las Vegas.


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