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Clark County GOP Expects Success In 2016

Ed Williams

Ed Williams is the new chairman of the Clark County Republican Party

With Democratic Senator Harry Reid retiring in early 2017, Nevada Republicans believe they have a good shot at taking the seat with Congressman Joe Heck.

The new head of the Clark County Republican Party Ed Williams told KNPR's State of Nevada that Heck is a good candidate but the race is just one of several that will have his organization's attention.

Heck is expected to face former Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez-Masto and the successful Reid political machine in the general election in November. 

Williams is also highly supportive of all of the Republican candidates for president. 

"We have an embarrassment of riches in terms of candidates," he said.

He doesn't believe the number candidates hurts the party but instead allows everyone to voice their opinion about the best candidate.

He also believes Nevada will play "a pivotal role in deciding who is the nominee for the Republican Party."

One big issue that has divided Republicans is same-sex marriage and gay rights. 

Williams, who is openly gay, said the real issue for him and the party is the economy and job growth. 

"In my generation, jobs and economy and education really come to the for front," he said, "We've got families. We've got careers and the Republican Party is the party that is really working on that growth and opportunity we need as young Americans."

Williams strongly believes in what he called "Republican values," which he said include personal independence, individual liberty, limited government and personal responsibility.

He thinks for many conservatives those values bump up against what they see has more government interference in what they do, specifically when it comes to same-sex marriage.

"I think religious conservatives have a genuine concern that they will be forced to do things or say things that they don't want to or that they don't believe in at the alter of political correctness," Williams said.

Williams said many people have called him to "express excitement" that his election shows the Republican party is redefining some of the long-held perceptions about it.

"There is a place for every American in the modern Republican Party," Williams said. "You just have to be comfortable with being as free as your fellow citizen."

Ed Williams, chairman, Clark County Republica Party

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