Nevada’s Brian Krolicki heads to GOP convention |

Nevada’s Brian Krolicki heads to GOP convention

Jeff Munson

Jonah M. Kessel / Tahoe Daily Tribune

STATELINE – Lake Tahoe’s favorite Republican son, Brian Krolicki – who also happens to be Nevada’s lieutenant governor – will join thousands this week in St. Paul, Minn., the site of the Republican National Convention.

This will make the fourth GOP convention for the Stateline resident, who also is chairman of Sen. John McCain’s campaign in Nevada.

With the unexpected news Friday that McCain took a gamble and picked Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his vice presidential running mate, the run to the election promises to be historic at all levels.

“She’s a great lady. It is a very bold ticket that will give Democrats a run for their money in November,” Krolicki told the Tribune on Friday.

Beginning today, Krolicki will share his thoughts during the convention’s nominating process with the Tahoe Daily Tribune, Nevada Appeal, Record-Courier and North Lake Tahoe Bonanza Web sites.

While Nevada is considered a swing state in the November election, the Republican Party here has experienced its share of turmoil.

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Last week, a ruling from the Republican National Committee panel said the state party violated rules when it appointed, rather than elected, its group of 34 delegates and 31 alternates, according to a report obtained by The Associated Press on Thursday.

The RNC Committee on Contests was asked to review the delegates by a group of supporters of Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, who argued that they were shut out of the delegate selection process. The Paul backers elected a separate delegation to the convention in Minnesota, and that also was rejected by the RNC panel.

The committee recommended a compromise list of delegates, which needs approval of the RNC credentials committee. The compromise list included at least four backers of Paul, a former presidential candidate who inched out McCain for second place in Nevada’s Republican presidential caucuses in January.

Krolicki, 47, was elected as Nevada’s lieutenant governor in November 2006. As lieutenant governor, he’s president of the State Senate, chairman of the Commission on Economic Development, chairman of the Commission on Tourism, and serves as a member of the State Board of Transportation.

His wife, Kelly, was the 1996 political director for the Nevada GOP. The couple have three daughters and reside on Kingsbury Grade in Douglas County.

The following are Krolicki’s thoughts on the presidential race and why he thinks McCain is the right man for the White House.

A: For one, there were 19 million people who voted for Hillary Clinton. Many of these voters resonate with Sarah. She is a hockey mom on the Republican ticket. She went from being involved in a local school issue, who then went to become mayor of a town, and now sits as governor of a state. She has executive experience plus has a common touch with Alaskans. She’s one who brings her baby into work.

A: I was in China at the time. I got a call from the McCain folks in the middle of the night a couple months ago asking if I wanted to be the chair. It wasn’t the kind of call I was expecting. I said, “Of course. I’d love to. I’ve known John McCain for 15 years. He’s a friend, and I support him.”

A: You help coordinate every event that is put on by the McCain campaign for the state. Sometimes there can be eight or nine events in a day. You set up town hall meetings and ask people what they think is important. You speak with the local media and coordinate. And you make introductions. I’ve been with him each time he’s visited.

A: The polls have it both ways. There are five polls that have McCain up, two polls with Obama up. Right now, I would call it a statistical tie.

As far as what’s changed, I would say the structure of the caucuses in Nevada has changed some of the ground game between the Republicans and Democrats, and those changes have brought material advantages and energies from both sides.

A: He would make an extraordinary fit. He’s a Westerner and shares our issues, and that’s why we think of him as a common friend. Being from Arizona, he understands federal issues, federal land issues, tribal issues, water issues. He believes in energy independence and believes that by 2025, we want to be energy-independent in the United States.

And as Nevadans, we don’t like taxes. We like free and fair trade. I think John McCain, our friend from Arizona, represents the values of not only the people in Nevada, but across the United States.