Las Vegas Sun

December 8, 2016

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In Henderson, Sanders urges voters to ‘make history’

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L.E. Baskow

Supporters are eager for the arrival of Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders at a campaign rally at the Henderson Pavilion, Friday, Feb. 19, 2016.

Bernie Sanders at Henderson Pavilion

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and his wife Jane arrive onstage for his speech at a campaign rally at the Henderson Pavilion, Friday, Feb. 19, 2016. Launch slideshow »

More than 2,000 supporters filled Henderson Pavilion Friday night in support of Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, as the Vermont senator held his final rally before Saturday's Nevada Democratic caucus.

"We are going to create an economy that works for all of us, not just the 1 percent," Sanders said to a screaming crowd during a 20-minute speech.

Las Vegans Sara Hughes, 26, and boyfriend Michael Darata, 26, wore six-inch mohawks and held signs in support of the senator, arriving to the pavilion more than an hour before Sanders took the stage. They stood and cheered with fellow suppors during Sanders' speech.

The couple, attending their first political rally of the 2016 election season, said they're voting for Sanders in Saturday's caucus because of his "fearlessness to fight for his beliefs."

"He's kind of the punk candidate," Hughes said of Sanders. "He doesn't follow in line with all the other politicians."

"Bernie isn't afraid to go after anybody," Darata added. "With Democrats, Republicans, even the president, he stands up for what he believes in."

Dressed in a white pantsuit with an American flag draped over her back, Tami Dixon, 52, said she spends "thousands" each month on medication to treat cystic fibrosis. Dixon said she's supporting Sanders in hopes he'll lower the cost of her prescription drugs.

"If I lived anywhere else in the developed world, I could get my medicine cheaper," Dixon said.

Sanders brief speech touched on issues of income inequality, solar energy, police brutality, immigration reform, education and universal health care.

Among the most passionate crowd responses came when Sanders spoke of climate change, to chants of "bring back solar," from the crowd.

"I find it rather incredible that the Public Utilities Commission here in Nevada made a decision that makes it harder for people to install solar panels," Sanders said. "We have got to make it easier, not harder."

"I really hope the state government here will reconsider that disastrous decision," he added. "Nevada has the opportunity to lead this country in solar power."

Sanders finished the speech by urging Nevadans to caucus on Saturday, citing the chance to "make history."

"Please come out in large numbers and please help us move the political revolution forward," Sanders said.

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