Monday, Feb. 8, 2016 | 8:10 p.m.
College of Southern Nevada student body president and Dreamer Brenda Romero announced today that she is endorsing former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for president — despite the fact that she was listed as one of the founding members of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ Latino steering committee two weeks ago.
When Romero’s name was released on a list of members of the Sanders campaign’s Latino steering committee in Nevada, it may have appeared as if she was backing the candidate. In reality, Romero said she had agreed to be on the committee, thinking it would be a good way to find out more about his campaign, advise staffers on outreach to the Latino community and help her decide which candidate to ultimately support — not because she already supported him.
“I was on board, not knowing very much about the candidate and still having an open mind about them,” Romero said. “I wanted to be a part of that so I could have much better insight on what his campaign was doing and what his policies would do as president.”
Romero said she became uncomfortable when the list was interpreted as a list of endorsements. In a news release announcing the committee’s formation, the campaign never stated that the list equated to an endorsement, though the release began with an endorsement quote and includes the names of other Nevadans who had endorsed Sanders earlier that week.
When one of Sanders’ senior staffers took to Twitter to criticize several Nevada Dreamers’ endorsements of Clinton as a “press hit,” Romero decided to take a closer look at Clinton. Today, after meeting with Illinois Rep. Luis Gutierrez, Romero said she decided to endorse Clinton.
“Just her very stance on many of the immigrant issues that she has and how she is on a much more personal level with other Dreamers and stuff like that,” Romero said. “She’s gone out of her way to help them.”
A Sanders campaign staffer said Monday night that Romero was never added to the committee against her will and that the campaign never received any indication that she did not want to be on the committee. The campaign added that Romero was repeatedly invited to events, but that she had the freedom to change her mind about whom to support.
Both campaigns have been paying close attention to the Latino community here in Nevada. The Latino vote could mean a huge boost for either Democratic candidate in securing victory here in the state.