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June 28, 2016

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Culinary Union endorses Ruben Kihuen in crowded CD4 race

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Steve Marcus

Geoconda Arguello-Kline, left, secretary-treasurer for Culinary Workers Union, Local 226, and Nevada State Sen. Ruben Kihuen, a Democratic candidate for U.S. Congress, take part in a Culinary Union protest near Trump International Hotel on Friday, Aug. 21, 2015, in Las Vegas. Trump International Hotel workers are not unionized.

The Culinary Union today announced that its members voted to endorse Democratic state Sen. Ruben Kihuen in his congressional bid.

Kihuen is running in a four-way Democratic primary to challenge Rep. Cresent Hardy in representing Nevada's 4th Congressional District.

"Ruben Kihuen has been a steadfast ally and we look forward to seeing him champion workers' rights and other issues important to working families as the next congressman from Nevada," said the union's secretary-treasurer Geoconda Arguello-Kline in a statement.

The union represents over 57,000 workers in Nevada, including workers at most resorts on the Las Vegas Strip. Kihuen's mother, a guest room attendant at the MGM Grand, is a longtime Culinary member.

"I am truly humbled to earn the endorsement of the Culinary Union members who have been my extended family since long before I entered elected office," Kihuen said in a statement. "Culinary took a chance on me when I challenged a conservative incumbent Democrat for the Assembly when I was just 25."

Kihuen's mother, Blanca Kihuen, said she was "proud" that the union endorsed her son.

"Ruben has always stood up for families like ours and we need leaders like him in Washington to fight back against reckless Republicans," she said in a statement.

Kihuen will face off in a June primary against philanthropist Susie Lee, former Assemblywoman Lucy Flores and former Assembly Speaker John Oceguera.

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