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Washoe County Commissioner Clara Andriola stands with Republican Governor Joe Lombardo (Photo: @ClaraforWashoe)

Washoe County GOP Expels Lombardo-Appointed Commissioner From Party

Washoe County Commissioner Clara Andriola is no longer recognized as a Republican, according to a resolution passed by the Washoe County GOP

By Megan Barth, January 30, 2024 4:08 pm

Last night during their monthly Central Committee meeting, the Washoe County Republican Party voted to no longer recognize Washoe County Commissioner Clara Andriola as a Republican and will not endorse or support Andriola in her bid for County Commissioner.

Andriola was appointed in April 2023 to District 4 by Governor Joe Lombardo, replacing Vaughn Hartung who was appointed to chair the Nevada Transportation authority. She will now face Tracy Hilton-Thomas, Vice Chair of the Washoe County Republican Party, in the upcoming June primary.

Washoe County Commissioner Clara Andriola (Photo: Reno Rodeo Foundation)

According to the filed resolution (see below), Andriola’s bipartisan votes as Commissioner has “weakened the brand and the integrity of the Republican party.”

“Clara Andriola has intentionally and willfully failed to uphold the Republicans and the Republican brand in her official capacity by predominantly voting with Democrats,” the resolution states and provides six examples leading up to their vote to kick Andriola out of the party:

Approving the Lands Bill that privatizes huge swaths of public land and prevents the public from its recreational use;

Appointing liberals to boards and committees in Washoe Count in lieu of a conservative;

Approving the County Manager’s hiring of the left-wing consulting firm The Elections Group for a whopping $600K in a co-compete bid approval process;

Ignoring expert testimony that proves the county is violating voter’s rights via non-compliance with state statutes and inadequate modes of implementation of the election management system;

Approval of spending on equipment proven to be inaccurate and/or vulnerable to cyber-security risks, the unnecessary and exorbitant $12.6 million draining of the county’s “Rainy Day Fund;”

Abrogating our rights of free speech by not supporting restoration of public comments at the beginning of Commission meetings.

According to a report in the Reno Gazette Journal (RGJ), Andriola was ‘baffled” by this decision and challenged each of the allegations listed above.

“I don’t understand why they’re concentrating on me,” she told the RGJ, “There’s so much work that needs to be done as a party. Nobody from the party contacted me about this, not even to ask questions,” adding, “I have a long history of being a Republican. I have a long history of doing what I can to ensure that taxpayer dollars are being used the best they can, that we have limited government and are as efficient as possible.”

Bruce Parks, Chairman of the Washoe County GOP (Photo: WashoeGOP)

Yet, the Chairman of the Washoe County GOP disagrees.

In a brief conversation with The Globe, Chairman Bruce Parks responded:

“Clara was baffled? I had meetings with her, as have others, to voice our concerns. In our first meeting, she told me that ‘We aren’t going to discuss politics.’ I am only the Chairman of the Washoe County Republican Party, and you don’t want to talk about politics with me? Ok, let’s talk about the issues, then.

So, for her to maintain that she was unaware that she wasn’t falling in line with expectations is “baffling” to me.

She represents the most conservative district in Washoe county. Yet, by her own admission, she is apolitical. You can’t be apolitical as a Commissioner of one of the reddest districts in the county. The votes she has made has hurt Washoe County.”

Parks then turned his comments towards Governor Lombardo:

“I would also like to address the fact that–for months now–I have been trying to reach the governor’s office to let him know that his appointee doesn’t vote in line with her constituents. But I have been completely,100 percent ignored by the governor’s office. Any opportunity to fix this has long since expired. Unfortunately, the people of the Washoe County Central Committee brought this businesses forward, it was heard, it was debated, it was voted, and she lost.

It is high time the Governor learned the lesson that the Governor works for the people of Washoe County, not the other way around. The governor needs to support us, but he appointed her with no input, that I am aware of, from anyone from the Washoe County Central Committee, our officers, any Republicans in Washoe County, or any of the Republican commissioners serving now alongside her. He sure as hell didn’t call me. But that is okay, the governor isn’t obligated to do so, but he now has to live with these consequences of appointing a RINO (Republican In Name Only) to the Washoe County Commission. He ignored us, he ignored the people, he ignored the issues, and now here we are with a Commissioner who votes 87 percent of the time with the Democrats.

What this resolution does is allow Washoe County Republicans to campaign for a Republican candidate, and we no longer recognize Clara Andriola as a Republican. We did the same thing to the few Republicans who supported Aaron Ford.”

The RGJ also mentions, “A letter signed by a few dozen active registered Republicans was sent Monday to the Washoe County Republican Party asking the central committee to reject the resolution.”

Parks responded, “Only four of those who signed that letter are central committee members, that was it. Out of the maybe 40 names on that list, only four of our members disagreed with this resolution.”

The Globe has reached out to Governor Lombardo’s office for comment and will update the article with their reply, if and when received.

Washoe County GOP resolution
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Megan Barth
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