(Karri Bragg) – In what may go down as the largest First Friday turnout since the event’s inception back in August 2009, First Friday January turned out many of Nevada’s biggest political players and soon-to-be politicians for a festive kickoff of the 2010 election year.
Crowds gathered at Stoney’s before the 5 o’clock start time, and rushed in to greet one another and pick up a 2-for-1 beverage once the doors finally opened. By the time VIP guest Jon Ralston arrived, guests were buzzing with anticipation for what words this journalist might impart on a solidly conservative crowd.
After being introduced by Chuck Muth, president of Citizen Outreach, with a good bit of ribbing, Ralston took the stage. With a few jabbing and playful remarks, he reminded the energetic crowd that while conservatives may be well-positioned to win back seats in 2010, they are also apt to miss such an opportunity.
For those who missed the festivities on Friday, many a political star and hopeful stars were in the room, working the crowd, posing for pictures and smiling all the way. Regular attendees and U.S. Senate candidates Sue Lowden (with her always-pleasant husband Paul) and Danny Tarkanian infused the event with their usual charm, while new face Dr. Robin Titus appeared to stir the pot. We’re happy that all of the Reid opponents kicked off what turned out to be a very positive weekend for their campaigns with us at First Friday.
Many media faces were present, including a photographer from the Las Vegas Review Journal, Nevada News Bureau chief Elizabeth Crum, as well as the voices of KXNT radio, Alan Stock, Ciara Turns, and Chris Matlock.
Also present were several newly-announced candidates including Steve Martin, who has just announced his run for State Treasurer. The new faces mixed with Congressional District 3 candidate Dr. Joe Heck, State Senate candidates Mike Roberson and Patrick McNaught, and Assembly candidate Elizabeth Halseth, to name a few of the conservative candidates whose campaigns are picking up speed now that the election year is upon us.
Perhaps the most exciting portion of the evening was an announcement made by host Citizen Outreach Foundation: On February 6th, a birthday party and reception will be held at the M to honor what would have been President Ronald Reagan’s 99th birthday. The event also marks the kickoff of the Reagan Legacy Project, an effort to name a mountain peak in Nevada after the late president.
More information may be found on the event website at www.firstfridaynevada.com.
Undoubtedly, players in the conservative movement came out in droves on Friday in a show of solidarity for the eventful year to come. The next First Friday event will take place on February 5th, 5-7 pm at Stoney’s on the Strip. If you haven’t made your appearance yet, what are you waiting for?
(Karri Bragg is the Executive Vice President of Citizen Outreach Foundation, the organization that hosts First Friday and other events. She may be reached by email at email@example.com.)