Juan A Martinez

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Juan Anthony Martinez
Personal Details
Birth: 1982
North Las Vegas, Nevada
Education: College of Southern Nevada (A.B., 2011), University of Nevada, Las Vegas (B.S., 2014)
Occupation: Political Executive
Residence: Las Vegas, Nevada
Party: Republican (registered) + Libertarian Party (lifetime member)
Website: Juan.Vegas
Twitter: Twitter
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Juan Anthony Martinez is a libertarian political operative and executive within the Stand Together / Americans for Prosperity network of organizations. He previously served as Deputy Executive Director of The LIBRE Initiative and as State Director over all Americans for Prosperity's network operations in Nevada. [1] Before entering politics, he had a career in real estate and co-founded his own mortgage firm. [2]

Martinez has been a lifetime member of the Libertarian Party since April 2019. [3] He is a former Democrat who became interested in libertarianism because of Ron Paul. [2] Martinez is a former elected board member of the Clark County Republican Party and a former member of the Nevada Republican Central Committee, where he advocated for libertarian views inside the Republican Party. [1] [4]

Martinez was also a candidate for North Las Vegas City Council in 2013. [5] Although he didn't win, the City Council later appointed him to the North Las Vegas Civil Service Board of Trustees, where he served from September 2014 - December 2016. [1] In subsequent years, the skills Martinez and his volunteers honed during the campaign significantly shaped the way libertarian grassroots activism was done in Nevada. Martinez would later bring these methods to other states through his work with Americans for Prosperity and The LIBRE Initiative. [2] [4]

Early Life

Martinez was born in North Las Vegas, Nevada, in 1982. He grew up in poverty and was raised in a broken home by a single white mother without ever knowing his Hispanic father. As a result, he didn't learn to speak Spanish until well into adulthood. He cites these experiences as a major reason why he was initially a Democrat before discovering the power of freedom and the market. [2]

Martinez graduated from Rancho High School in North Las Vegas. He was the first in his family to graduate. [2]

Early Career and Foray into Politics

Martinez co-founded a mortgage brokerage firm in Las Vegas. It became one of the top mortgage brokerages in the city until the onset of the Great Recession. [2]

Martinez caucused for Ron Paul in the 2012 Nevada Republican caucuses and was a delegate to the May 2012 Nevada Republican Convention, where he met other libertarian activists who later got him more involved in formal politics, including Doug Pestana. When the Ron Paul campaign's SMS-based delegate messaging system failed mid-convention --- inhibiting the campaign's ability to orchestrate the floor votes of its delegates --- Martinez suggested to Paul's Nevada campaign chairman Carl Bunce that they use some type of visual signal at the front of the convention floor. [2] Representatives of Mitt Romney's campaign had already been doing something similar with paper signs. The idea was rapidly operationalized through the use of colored balloons, helping the libertarian delegation to successfully hold command of the convention. [4]

Martinez was later elected to both the board of the Clark County Republican Party and the Nevada Republican Central Committee, serving in the former role from 2012 - 2014. [1]

Campaign for North Las Vegas City Council (2013)

Martinez ran for North Las Vegas City Council in 2013. [5] [6] He was convinced to run by several libertarian friends who also held leadership positions in the Clark County Republican Party, including Doug Pestana and Nick Gausling. The pivotal conversation took place one night around late 2012 in the cafe of the El Cortez, a casino in downtown Las Vegas. It was debated if Martinez should run for City Council or for Mayor of North Las Vegas, with City Council ultimately being settled on as the better choice. Pestana was chosen as Campaign Manager. [4]

Martinez's council district was North Las Vegas Ward 1. [5] [7] While the race was officially non-partisan and there was no incumbent, Ward 1 leaned heavily Democratic and had a high Hispanic population. [4] [8] Martinez's official campaign slogan was "Meristemos mejor," roughly translated as "We deserve better." [4]

Martinez's official campaign portrait, taken in the desert outside Las Vegas

In addition to Martinez, the other candidates were: [5]

  1. Isaac Barron (D), who was endorsed by U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and other key leaders from the Nevada Democratic Party. He was widely considered a shoo-in who would win the election outright in the non-partisan primary by taking a majority of the vote.
  2. Jared Hardy (R), son of former City Councilman Brent Hardy. He was expected to capture most of the Mormon vote, which was a significant and politically-active minority in the ward.
  3. Jeff Eggeman, a perennial candidate.

A political operative who supported Hardy downplayed Martinez's chances in a conversation with Martinez and Pestana, claiming that Martinez was going to "get his ass kicked" in the race and should drop out. [2] Many board members of the Clark County Republican Party, at the time controlled by libertarians, endorsed Martinez. [4]

Martinez's campaign ran on a shoestring budget with heavy grassroots volunteer support. It used many tactics that were considered unconventional, such as diamond-shaped signs, hand-written letters, conducting official sign placements and changes at highly-visible locations in the middle of the night, and the encouragement of supporters to request mail-in ballots to ensure they voted. Pestana's professional background in data analytics was credited with playing a significant role in allowing the campaign to out-maneuver their opponents and leverage low expenditures for high impact. [4] Barron's campaign increased their activity significantly to counter Martinez, including sending direct mail with a quote from Harry Reid claiming that Barron was the only candidate in the race who spoke Spanish (which Martinez didn't learn until several years later). [2] [4]

An unconventional diamond-shaped campaign sign used by Martinez. The signs were often mounted with rebar to hold them in place when positioned right-side up.

In the March non-partisan primary, Martinez received 17.92% of the vote and did not advance to the general election. He came within approximately 7 points of Hardy. [5] Although he was a registered Republican, Martinez is believed to have mostly drawn Democrat support away from Barron, thus preventing Barron from claiming the 50%+ he needed for an automatic win in the primary. [8] [4] In the aftermath, Hardy's campaign attempted to secure Martinez's endorsement for the general election, but Martinez declined. [2] The Hardy campaign later listed a (presumably different) Juan Martinez as endorsing Hardy. [4] Barron went on to defeat Hardy in the general election by over 17 points, which was the approximate vote count that Martinez had won in the primary. [9] [5]

The Juan Martinez Campaign Committee ultimately achieved a significantly lower expense per vote ratio than most other campaigns averaged throughout the state. [8] The lessons and methodologies learned by Martinez and his volunteers went on to profoundly shape grassroots activism in Nevada and eventually (due to Martinez's later work) multiple other states. [2] [4]

Politics as Career (2013 - Present)

In the aftermath of his campaign, Martinez co-founded the Synergy Opportunity Liberty Organization (SOLO USA), a Nevada non-profit that promoted libertarian ideas to Hispanics. [10] [11] Many of SOLO's grassroots efforts were informed by the operational successes and efficiencies of the campaign, and a number of the organization's co-founders had been Martinez volunteers, including Doug Pestana. [4] [11]

Later in 2013, Martinez joined The LIBRE Initiative as an independent contractor working on field operations. [4] In July 2014, he was named the organization's Nevada State Director. [1]

The North Las Vegas City Council appointed Martinez to the city's Civil Service Board of Trustees in September 2014, where he served until December 2016. [1]

Around 2016, Americans for Prosperity combined field operations for all of their advocacy organizations under central leadership. Martinez was appointed Nevada State Director for all Americans for Prosperity field operations in October of that year. [1] [4] In that position, he ran all Nevada operations for the flagship Americans for Prosperity brand, as well as The LIBRE Initiative, Concerned Veterans for America, and Generation Opportunity. [4] Martinez was credited by many of his colleagues with building the most successful grassroots organization within the entire network. [2]

Martinez also briefly served as interim Executive Director of The LIBRE Institute, the 501(c)(3) wing of LIBRE. [4]

In December 2020, Martinez was named Deputy Executive Director of The LIBRE Initiative, overseeing grassroots efforts for LIBRE nationwide. [1] [4]


Martinez married his longtime girlfriend Ebru in June 2019. Their daughter Ayla was born in 2021. They still reside in Las Vegas. [4]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 Juan Martinez's LinkedIn
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 Unrecorded conversations between Juan Martinez and Nick Gausling between 2012 – 2023 (Gausling, 2023). Gausling is the original author of this wiki article. His self-citations should only be construed as applying to the most recent draft that he personally wrote, and only on those specific things where he both personally wrote the content and cited himself.
  3. LP Lifetime Member Roster
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 4.12 4.13 4.14 4.15 4.16 4.17 4.18 (Gausling, 2023). Nick Gausling is the original author of this wiki article. His self-citations should only be construed as applying to the most recent draft that he personally wrote, and only on those specific things where he both personally wrote the content and cited himself.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 Unofficial Municipal Primary Election Results, City of North Las Vegas (2013)
  6. See an partial copy of Martinez's campaign website at File:2014-2 JMCC Website.png
  7. See a map of the ward as it existed at the time at File:2012 NLVCouncilWard1.pdf
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 2013 analysis by Doug Pestana, as reported by Nick Gausling (Gausling, 2023)
  9. Official Municipal General Election Results City of North Las Vegas (2013)
  10. Nevada SilverFlume Business Entity Search, Entity Number E0216072014-7
  11. 11.0 11.1 See sources and material at Synergy Opportunity Liberty Organization (SOLO USA)