Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2008 | 12:06 a.m.
RELATED STORY: Party faithful turn out to support Democrats
Republican candidates for local, state and national offices and their supporters gathered Tuesday night in a Las Vegas cowboy bar to watch as primary election numbers rolled in on big-screen TVs.
The evening of solidarity saw a range of Republican candidates come and go throughout the evening as voters thinned out their ranks for who would match up with Democrats on Nov. 4.
U.S. Rep. Jon Porter, who won his GOP primary, was one of the first to make an appearance, shaking hands and chatting with the small crowd of early birds that gathered inside Stoney's Rockin Country, 9151 S. Las Vegas Blvd.
“I’m looking forward to serving another term,” Porter said.
Porter defeated fellow Republicans Carl Bunce and Jesse Law with more than 80 percent of the vote. With Tuesday’s win, Porter will go on to face Democratic state Sen. Dina Titus in the general election. Candidates from the Independent, Green, Libertarian and Independent American parties also will be on November’s ballot.
Porter, who is seeking a fourth two-year term in Congress, is expected to have a tough fight on his hands to keep his seat from Titus.
"Dina Titus and I have served together in the Nevada Legislature and I'm looking forward to a spirited campaign,” he said.
Brian Scroggins also celebrated a victory Tuesday night, securing the Republican nomination for the District A county commission seat. Bruce Woodbury has held the position for the past 27 years and is stepping aside because of a Nevada Supreme Court ruling on term limits.
Scroggins didn’t officially put his name into the District A race until the Nevada Supreme Court delivered its decision late last month.
“We ran a six-month campaign in two-and-a-half weeks," he said. “Bruce Woodbury … has been a visionary leader. I have to follow in his footsteps.”
Richard McArthur and two-term Republican Assemblywoman Francis Allen faced each other in the 2004 primaries, and this year, the tables were turned. McArthur defeated the embattled Allen with 46.7 percent of the vote, compared to Allen's 23.6 percent in the four-way race.
Allen, 30, was charged with stabbing her husband in May. Though the charges were later dropped, the scandal haunted the assemblywoman’s campaign.
Still, McArthur said the campaign wasn’t easy.
“This was a tough race,” he said. “I was running against an incumbent … (and) tomorrow morning I’ll be back on the trail again.”
Though Nevada Assembly District 5 hopeful Donna Toussaint won her race, she acknowledged she has a long road ahead of her before November.
“This has been a pretty hard year for Republicans, but we’re going to work harder and smarter,” she said.
Community members came out to the party Tuesday night to meet the candidates, watch the results and cheer for their fellow Republicans. Jim and Sandy Matthews attended to show their support for a personal friend.
“Brian Scroggins is very worthy of the position. We came to support him and join the rest of our Republican friends. And of course to support Jon Porter,” Sandy Matthews said.
Although the Matthews try to stay well informed, the lack of candidate information on smaller races made it difficult, the couple said.
“No one knows who the judges are, which is a sad thing. We are originally from California and when election time comes, all candidates send out information on themselves. I guess they don’t do that here or they just don’t care,” Sandy Matthews said.
Both agreed with the Nevada Supreme Court ruling on term limits for long-time politicians like Bruce Woodbury.
“It’s time for a change. New blood and new ideas,” Jim Matthews said.
Christine Springer, a life-long Republican, also came to the gathering to show her encouragement for the candidates.
“I’ve always been a supporter of the Republican Party but I haven’t always been able to do as much as I like,” she said.
With low voter turnout across Clark County, Springer expressed her concern for the lack of interest in elections.
“I feel that voters are scared and are opting out of voting -- especially young voters. I’m very concerned about the direction we are going in,” Springer said.
The primary results watch party was organized by the Clark County and Nevada Republican parties.
Clark County Republican Party Chairman Bernie Zadrowski said the evening was designed to be an informal event.
“There’s no program, we’re just going to watch the poll results, have a good time, have some libations and great barbeque food,” he said. “We wanted to celebrate our candidates and the people who are working for them."
While the night provided Republican political junkies with some time to unwind and relax, Zadrowski said it would be back to work -- and the campaign trail -- tomorrow.
“From here on out, it’s really going to be all out,” he said. “We’re looking forward to a lot of hard work.”