Basque Fry draws big crowd to Gardnerville |

Basque Fry draws big crowd to Gardnerville

More than a thousand people turned up at the annual Basque Fry in Gardnerville to hear a full slate of Republican speakers and enjoy some barbecue.

The fifth annual event was held at the Corley Ranch on Saturday.

The event was co-hosted by Adam Laxalt’s Morning in Nevada PAC and the American Conservative Union, whose chairman Matt Schlapp said there is an opportunity to convert Nevada to Republicans’ side in 2020.

“There are a lot of Democrats who believe Nevada is theirs,” Schlapp said. “We’re going to turn Nevada red, and we’re going to come here as many times as it takes to make that happen.”

Schlapp said Nevadans are hungry for conservative policies, something he said was shown by the turnout to the Basque Fry.

“Today you can see by the crowds waiting to get in there’s a yearning in the state of Nevada for these conservative policies,” he said. “They’re fired up, they’re optimistic.”

He pointed out that many people are concerned about the Democratic slate of candidates.

“They love what the president is doing and they’re worried about this talk about socialism,” he said. “They see the Democrats on that stage and they’re all talking about socialism. Those people in Venezuela and the kids in Hong Kong, they’re living that communist nightmare. We don’t need that in this country.”

Mercedes Schlapp, who served as White House Director of Strategic Communications and is now an official in the Trump re-election campaign, said she felt there is a clear break between Democrats of the past and those running for president.

“I think it shows the Democrats are in disarray, and there’s a clear contrast here,” she said. “The Democrats are no longer your grandfather’s Democrats They are proposing these bills like the Green New Deal that will cost trillions of dollars. I think they appreciate President Trump’s common sense approach. It’s why no Democrat is a match for President Trump.”

As of last month, Douglas County’s Republican party registration hit 21,146 out of 39,780 voters.

Democrats account for 9,002 and there are 7,012 registered nonpartisans.

Douglas County Republican Party Vice President James McKalip said he was surprised at the numbers. He’s been operating voter registration booths at the farmers markets, and said there have only been a handful of sign-ups.

“Everyone here is already registered,” he said. “You just get a few people who moved recently.”

McKalip said he will be at the final Minden Farmer’s Market on Sept. 24.