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Washoe County Voters Prodded By Democrats, Republicans and Tea Partiers

Emmanuel Martinez, Yifan Zhu |
November 6, 2012 | 2:26 p.m. PST

Staff Reporters

SEIU members knock on doors urging people to vote in Henderson, Clark County, Nevada.(Lauren Foliart/Neon Tommy)
SEIU members knock on doors urging people to vote in Henderson, Clark County, Nevada.(Lauren Foliart/Neon Tommy)
The Washoe County Tea Party has submitted Spanish letters to newspapers, reached veterans groups and sought the help of the Jewish Coalition to boost support for the Romney Campaign, said a spokesman for the organization.  

The Democratic Party in Washoe County has made countless phone calls and has knocked on numerous doors to increase the number of votes for Obama, said Executive Director Pam Dupree. 

The efforts made by both organizations illustrate the importance of Washoe County, as the scenic mountainous region near Lake Tahoe with both urbanites and rural-dwellers will decide who receives Nevada’s six electoral votes.

“Washoe is the key swing county,” said a spokesman for the Washoe County Tea Party. “It is the second largest county. Washoe is where Nevada will be won.” 

“As goes Washoe County, so goes the state of Nevada,” said Dupree. 

Washoe County’s importance rests in the fact that it breaks the stalemate between Clark County and the rural areas of the Nevada.   

 “The typical thinking is that the Democrats will get a lead in Clark County of about five points, eight points something like that, and they are a big county. But that will be neutralized with what happens in the rural districts because they go heavily Republican,” said Fam Kumora, chairman of the Washoe Republican Party. “And that leaves Washoe to determine the outcome to some extend.”  

“And that will probably hold true because Clark County is so blue, the rural area is so red and we are pretty purple here in Washoe County,” said Dupree.  

The Tea Party, Washoe Republican Party and the Democratic Party of Washoe County may attempt to influence voters, but voters hold the final say in determining the color of the county and the state. 

Supporters of Obama are satisfied with the last four years and don’t believe Governor Romney’s promises. 

 “Romney is a liar,” said Carol Gonzales, who lives in the city of Spark, Nevada. “[Romney] is not reliable and he only works for his own interest.”

Obama has done a good job during the last four years, despite having an uncooperative congress, said Gonzales. 

However, not everyone in Washoe County agrees that the last four years have gone well. 

 “We need to see a change,” said Carol Ryan, a resident of Sparks, Nevada. “I want to see a change, and voting for someone else will make things better.”

INFOGRAPHIC: Swing State Battleground: Washoe County, Nevada

Sean Gingras, a conservative Christian from Sparks, Nevada, will vote for Governor Romney because his values and vision for the future align with Romney’s. 

The divide among Washoe County residents has created a sense of excitement and anxiety because of the unpredictability of turnout. 

“There has been a buzz here for weeks now. People are excited and they are upbeat,” said Dupree. 

“We are fortunate to be in Nevada. We are fortunate to be in Washoe County,” said Kumora. “There is a lot of excitement and also some level of nervousness to how the outcome is going to look like.” 

Reach Yifan Zhu here.



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