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Key events have Nevada conservatives gearing up for 2020


National Review columnist John Fund speaks at the fifth Basque Fry in Minden, Nevada. Image: Don Dike-Anukam

By Don Dike-Anukam

This year’s 5th Annual Basque Fry, held mid-September, had Nevada conservatives gathered with national heavyweights. The event, which had about 1,300 attendees, was preceded by the CPAC West gathering at the Grand Sierra Resort, which drew about 500 people.

Matt Schlapp, chair of the American Conservative Union who also hosts the globally known Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in DC each year, had this to say:

“We are in Reno, Nevada, for our first annual CPAC West. We’re planning to come to Nevada every year. Nevada has drifted left recently, and we’re going to try to reverse that course.”

Former Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt (R) explained why he believes the two events are essential.

“We’ve always done this Basque Fry, and joining with ACU to create this first CPAC West and bring all the resources they have [including the] principled, conservative thinking on important issues of the day,” he explained. “We think it’s going to help build a foundation for the future. And to be able to have … a couple thousand people over these two days that are ready to try to fight to take back Nevada — it’s a great honor.”

Matt Whitaker, former U.S. Attorney General, agreed.

“It’s important for me, as a former administration, official [and] former cabinet member, to come here and to make sure that they understand that not only do we support them, but we understand, you know, what’s at stake in 2020,” Whitaker said. “Everybody’s all in and making sure 2020 is successful.”

LISTEN: “These are the days we’re going to take back Nevada,” an interview with Adam Laxalt

Speakers at the Basque Fry included White House Chief of Staff (acting) Mick Mulvaney, former AG Whitaker, National Review columnist John Fund, and other Nevada conservatives.

Former Secretary of the Interior, Ryan Zinke, could not attend due to travel delays. President Trump’s former campaign manager, Corey Lewandowsky, was also unable to attend.

Mercedes Schlapp, a senior advisor to President Trump’s campaign, emphasized Nevada’s role in the 2020 election.

“Nevada is extremely important,” she said. “I think that it’s not only Nevada — we have the other states like New Mexico … that are just so close when it comes to these presidential races. So for us, it’s obviously one of the important states, and we’ll be spending will be spending time here…”

The reason: after Nevada’s blue wave in the 2018 mid-term election, the stakes for conservatives are very high going into the election season.

Adam Laxalt and friends at the Nevada Basque Fry. Image: Don Dike-Anukam.
Don Dike Anukam
Don Dike Anukam
Don Dike-Anukam is a Reno native attending college in northern Nevada. He has been involved in activist politics for 15 years on and off, and has been involved in multiple campaigns in multiple positions in that time. He also was a college radio political, news, and talk-show host covering a range of stories from hostage standoffs, fires, interviews, and public speeches.