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November 20, 2018

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Joe Biden in Las Vegas to stump for candidates as early voting starts

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Christopher DeVargas

People gather at the Culinary Workers Union in downtown Las Vegas for RiseNVote, a rally being held by the Nevada State Democratic Party, Latino Victory Fund, and Culinary Workers Union, Sat. Oct. 20, 2018.

Rise N Vote Rally for Nevada Democratic Party

Members of the Culinary Workers Union cheer during a Nevada Democratic Party rally at union headquarters, Sat. Oct, 20, 2018. Launch slideshow »

Las Vegas Democrats are kicking off early voting with former Vice President Joe Biden while President Donald Trump prepares for yet another visit to Nevada this election season.

Biden stumped for Nevada Democratic candidates this morning on the first day of early voting, which ends Nov. 2. The president is taking his political machine to Elko, the reddest part of Nevada where he will campaign with Nevada’s incumbent GOP Sen. Dean Heller.

The former vice president talked about the importance of unions and said Nevada’s candidates say what they mean and do what they say, which DC needs. He said American values are being “shredded” by Trump, when in the past there were people willing to work across the aisle, such as late Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain.

“Nobody should have to work two jobs to try to make a living in the United States of America,” Biden said. “This election, this is not hyperbole, this election is literally bigger than politics.” He said Republicans are going after health care, with possible cuts to Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare, because the GOP tax plan is adding an unsustainable $1.9 trillion to the deficit.

“It’s time to getup, lift our heads up, remember who the hell we are,” Biden said. “This is America, let’s take back the Senate and we will change the world as we know it.”

Former first lady Michelle Obama held a get-out-the-vote rally in September, shortly after the president held a campaign rally on the Strip. On Monday, former President Barack Obama is expected to rally for Democratic candidates in Nevada at UNLV.

Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, the first Latina and Nevada’s first woman elected to the upper chamber of Congress, said Nevada needs to elect Jacky Rosen to the Senate to work alongside her.

Rosen reiterated her attacks on Heller for voting to for Obamacare repeal after saying he would not vote for a piece of legislation that harms coverage for Nevada residents.

“The future of the Affordable Care Act, the future of the Supreme Court, all of it is on the line this election,” she said.

Click to enlarge photo

Former Vice President Joe Biden speaks to supporters during a Nevada Democratic Party rally at the Culinary Workers Union in downtown Las Vegas, Sat Oct. 20, 2018.

Gubernatorial candidate and Clark County Commissioner Steve Sisolak said this election will come down to turnout. No one is more organized than the Culinary Union, he said, and the group’s activism is what will make a difference in the race.

“It’s all going to come down to turnout,” he said.

Culinary Union Secretary-Treasurer Geoconda Argüello Kline, who is from Nicaragua and has political asylum in the U.S., spoke against Trump’s family separation policy. She said the union has about 200 people organizing, knocking on doors and making phone calls to educate people to vote.

“This election is avery important election,” she said. “We cannot stay home, we have to vote.”

Comedian Billy Eichner, formerly of Parks and Rec, said young people need to move past marches and anger on social media and actually go out to vote.

“This is about reaching out to your friends not only here in Nevada but all over the country,” he said.

Treasurer candidate Zach Conine said it’s important for Nevada to invest in its future. Lieutenant Governor candidate Kate Marshall spoke about the power of unions. She said her father was Mexican and a Teamster, and unions make this country strong.

Congressional District 3 and 4 candidates Susie Lee and Steven Horsford also spoke. Lee also spoke out against Trump’s family separations policy at the border. Horsford said the Culinary Academy where he worked for 10 years gave him a chance and he wouldn’t forget where he came from.

The nearest early voting site to the Culinary Union is the Clark County Government Center, and Democrats encouraged attendees to go there after the event to cast ballots.