Democrats across the state elected assemblyman William McCurdy II as chair of the Nevada State Democratic Party this month.
It was a historic vote – since McCurdy is the first African-American elected to the post and also the youngest in modern history.
McCurdy is only 28 years old, is a native of Las Vegas and represents District 6 in the Nevada Assembly.
McCurdy's rise to the head of the party is kind of an incredible one. He dropped out of high school when he was 17 and saw many of his friends in his west Las Vegas neighborhood get involved with gangs.
He was also a father at 17 and got a job to support his family. His work in construction led him to the construction unions. He got his high school diploma when he was 24 and then enrolled at the College of Southern Nevada.
While at CSN, he became involved in student government. He graduated from CSN in 2015 and enrolled at UNLV. He is a current student at UNLV, a single parent, a union organizer and a freshman assemblyman.
“I guess you can say that anything is possible when you work hard and are determined and you keep faith,” McCurdy said.
Now that he is the head of the Democratic Party in Nevada, McCurdy's focus is clear.
“With the 2018 elections around the corner, this is our first opportunity to take a stand against Trump and it’s an honor to be a leader for the Democrats at such an important time,” he said.
McCurdy wants to unseat Senator Dean Heller (R) -NV., send Ruben Kihuen, Jackie Rosen and Dina Titus back to Congress, reclaim the governor's mansion for the Democrats and expand his party's majority in Carson City.
One of the challenges ahead for McCurdy is some of the hard feelings left over from the November election, especially among Bernie Sanders' supporters.
During the caucus process, Sanders' supporters complained that they were left out. McCurdy said he understands why people were unhappy but they can't keep reliving problems of the past.
“As Democrats, we have to decide whether we’re going to be permanently divided by the last election, or if we’re going to unite together and focus on winning,” he said.
At the same time, McCurdy wants to make sure that the Democratic Party in Nevada is accessible to everyone.
“We just have to make sure that everyone feels as though they’re welcome number one and they’re needed number two, because everyone is needed in the task moving forward."
William McCurdy, chair, Nevada State Democratic Party
You won’t find a paywall here. Come as often as you like — we’re not counting. You’ve found a like-minded tribe that cherishes what a free press stands for. If you can spend another couple of minutes making a pledge of as little as $5, you’ll feel like a superhero defending democracy for less than the cost of a month of Netflix.