LAS VEGAS (AP) - Nevada Republicans moved ahead with endorsing GOP candidates before the June primary after a bitter debate during their state convention Saturday in Las Vegas.
The party's central committee initiated the unusual move in response to grassroots anger over early candidate endorsements from elected officials, such as Gov. Brian Sandoval in the contentious lieutenant governor's race.
It fueled infighting within the party over what it means to be Republican and is indicative of the deep divides between the conservative wing of the GOP and "establishment" Republicans like Sandoval, U.S. Sen. Dean Heller and others.
At least three dozen GOP candidates are seeking primary backing from the state party. Others, including the governor, have shunned the process.
Critics say primary endorsements will pit Republicans against Republicans and further split the party.