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April 23, 2019

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Sanders supporters demand apology at Nevada delegation meeting

PHILADELPHIA — Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison, a longtime Bernie Sanders supporter who has endorsed Hillary Clinton, attempted to preach a message of unity at the Nevada delegation breakfast this morning.

Ellison said it was OK to “duke it out” in the primary, but it’s time to come together. “We got to be real crystal clear on what’s in front of us,” Ellison said, describing Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump as a “fascist dictator.”

Click to enlarge photo

Bernie Sanders delegate John Geremia addresses U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota during a morning meeting of Nevada delegation members on Monday, July 25, 2016, at the Embassy Suites hotel in Philadelphia.

He didn’t get far into his message, though.

Less than halfway through his speech, Ellison was interrupted by members of Nevada’s Sanders delegation, who pointed to discord at state Democratic convention and the recent WikiLeaks release of emails as reasons they still don’t trust the party.

Sanders backers at the Nevada convention complained the state party was biased toward Clinton, and the leaked emails revealed the national Democratic Party was critical of Sanders and his campaign and that certain officials appeared to be working to undermine him.

Several Sanders supporters this morning shouted for an apology from state party Chairwoman Roberta Lange.

“We demand collaboration, not capitulation,” shouted Christine Kramar, a Sanders supporter and a member of the Democratic Platform Committee.

Angie Morelli, a Sanders delegate, said Sanders supporters have repeatedly requested a meeting with state party officials to talk about what happened at the convention. Lange said it was the first she heard of such a request.

Ellison offered to come to Nevada to help mediate a meeting between state party officials and Sanders supporters.

“I think the ingredients for a good resolution are in the room as long as hearts stay open and minds stay open,” Ellison said.

Allison Stephens, the incoming national committeewoman from Nevada, said she also would be willing to be a “middle man” at such a meeting.

Beyond their gripes with the state party, several Sanders supporters brought up the leaked emails. They asked Ellison how they could accept Clinton as the nominee knowing the process was rigged and Sanders didn’t get a fair shot.

“I cannot afford that to consume my focus, because I’ve got another focus,” said Ellison, who repeatedly shifted his remarks back on Trump.

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