Recently, a five-member slate of candidates, backed by the Democratic Socialists of America [DSA] and the Nevada Left-Caucus, seized complete control of the Nevada State Democratic Party [NSDP]. The slate won all five seats. Four are open members of the DSA.
The new state leader of the NSDP is Judith Whitmer, who is also Chairman of the Clark County Democratic Party and an outspoken member of both the DSA and the Nevada Left Caucus.
The immediate fallout was all senior non-elected NSDP staff resigned, and $450k in funds was pre-emptively moved. The money is expected to be used to support Nevada’s US Senator Catherine Cortez Masto, a Democrat, who campaigned against the newly elected leadership of the NSDP.
Nevada’s four largest cities, in order, are Las Vegas (635k), Henderson (300k), Reno (246k), and North Las Vegas (241k). The mayors of Las Vegas and Henderson are Democrats, while the mayor of Reno is independent.
John Jay Lee, the mayor of North Las Vegas, has been an elected Democrat since 1996. He was first elected to the Nevada House of Representatives as a Democrat in 96, the Nevada State Senate in 2004, and the mayor of North Las Vegas in 2013.
Lee says that he has been a Democrat for 25 years, but the party has shifted too far to the left, and there is no longer any room for people with conservative views. Lee cited the DSA take-over of the NSDP as his reason for defecting.
Lee has not changed any of his political views but says the Democrats have abandoned the working class and small business owners.
Lee runs a plumbing business he started in 1991 and has seven children.