Election results: Primary whittles field of candidates for local government positions across Nevada

Nevada voters weighed in on a range of local government races in Tuesday’s primary, in some cases handing seats outright to candidates and in other cases narrowing the field to two for the general election in November.

Incumbents made strong showings in lively races for Reno City Council and Sparks City Council, while two big-name Democratic candidates separated themselves from the pack in Clark County Commission primaries.

Here are the highlights of some of those races. Check back for updates as more results are released.

Assemblyman Will McCurdy and Controller Catherine Byrne on the first day of the 2019 legislative session on Monday, Feb. 4, 2019 in Carson City, Nev. (David Calvert/The Nevada Independent)

Incumbent Naft coasts to victory in Clark County Commission race; two major players in the Democratic Party take strong leads

Four seats are up for election this year on the Clark County Commission, the state’s most powerful local government body, and incumbent Michael Naft along with two big names in the Democratic Party have taken decisive leads in their races.

District C, the Democratic-leaning district in the northwest region of the Las Vegas Valley, had a crowded primary with six Democrats vying for the nomination. Commissioner Larry Brown is leaving the seat open after reaching his term limit this year.

Former Nevada Secretary of State Ross Miller has taken a strong lead with 38.8 percent of the vote, followed by Hunter Cain, the former director of community outreach for Rep. Dina Titus, who is in second with 24.7 percent. 

Miller himself said he was “very encouraged” by these initial results.

“We’ve now lapped the field in a seven person race,” Miller said. “So that’s very encouraging, so we’ll wait for the rest of the votes, but we’re starting to look forward to the general election.”

If Miller holds the lead, he will compete against Republican Stavros Anthony in the November general election. Anthony is a Las Vegas city councilman and has been the biggest spender in the race for a commission seat thus far. 

“I think that [my] message will be in stark contrast to my general election opponent who is a career politician and really, I think, embodies, this Trump philosophy,” Miller said of Anthony. “He’s a Trump crony, his entire career, and, clearly, we need to have a different direction.”

When reached for comment on Wednesday, Anthony said “I support President Trump. I don’t know what a ‘Trump Crony’ is, but I support him.”

Anthony added that while it was “nice” to have an idea who he would be competing against in November, it would not change his campaign strategy.

“It doesn’t matter who wins the Democratic primary. I’m going to run my campaign and get out there and tell people why they should vote for me, and why I’m the best person to represent District C,” he said.

District D incorporates much of North Las Vegas and parts of Downtown Las Vegas including Fremont Street. Commissioner Lawrence Weekly has also reached his term limit this year and leaves an open seat.

This heavily Democratic district had the most crowded primary, with seven Democrats. The winner will face three non-partisans in the general election.

Assemblyman William McCurdy II, chairman of the Nevada State Democratic Party, is leading Democrats by a large margin against several big-name candidates after the first round of results. Others in the race include Tanya Flanagan, president of the board of directors for the breast cancer foundation Susan G. Komen Nevada, North Las Vegas City Councilman Isaac Barron and State Sen. Mo Denis. 

McCurdy received 42.6 percent of the initial vote. Flanagan has the second highest share with 20.5 percent.

In District A, which incorporates southern portions of Clark County, Democratic incumbent Michael Naft faced only one competitor in the primary, former casino worker Ken Patrick O’Sullivan.

Presumptive winner Naft has taken a commanding lead, with Thursday's results showing him receiving approximately 74.2 percent of the vote.

“Particularly as this is my first time on a ballot, it’s particularly humbling to have the support of so many thousands of my base,” Naft said in response to Wednesday morning’s results. “It gets me excited to continue the work from the last 18 months and work hard to continue to gain that support from my constituents in November.”

In the general election in November, Naft will take on Republican Michael Thomas, who had no competitors in the primary. Naft, who has been endorsed by the Culinary Union and Gov. Steve Sisolak, is the heavy favorite in the general election in this district, where 39 percent of voters are registered Democrats, compared to 31 percent registered as Republicans.

Democratic incumbent and Commission Chairwoman Marilyn Kirkpatrick is also up for re-election this cycle but was unopposed in the primary. She represents District B on the commission, which includes the northeastern portion of Clark County.

Republican Kevin M. Williams and Independent Warren Ross Markowitz will be on the ballot in the general after running unopposed in Tuesday’s primary.

— Kristyn Leonard

Incumbents hold lead in Reno Council primary races, challengers prepare themselves for November

Attorney Devon Reese is sworn in as Reno's at-large City Council member on Feb. 15, 2018. (David Calvert/The Nevada Independent)

After Reno City Council candidates spent months campaigning, writing op-eds and adjusting campaign strategies to the pandemic, preliminary results for the four nonpartisan races show incumbents have decisive leads over their challengers.

Incumbents defending their seats in every city ward hold a lead over challengers, but the top two candidates from each race will advance into the November general election.

For the Reno City Council at-large position, which represents residents of the entire city but will be replaced in 2024 with a sixth ward, attorney and council vice-mayor Devon Reese will square off in the general election with perennial candidate and businessman Eddie Lorton.

As of Saturday morning, Reese leads the primary race with 47.7 percent of the vote, 17.6 percentage points more than Lorton. The other two candidates, Joe Moskowitz and Michael Walker, received 11.8 and 10.4 percent of the vote, respectively.

In an interview Wednesday morning, Reese said he was humbled by the support in the primary, but that the work is not over and he wants to continue addressing social and economic inequalities, both in his campaign and his capacity as a sitting council member.

“I'm going to wake up and do all the good for as many people as I can for as long as I can,” Reese said. “For me, it is going to be those people-first issues that drive the conversation about our campaign ... housing, our unsheltered population, racial inequality issues and quality of life issues.”

Lorton is optimistic about the future.

“I'm feeling very positive about our campaign. This is a new process for all of us. We are just waiting for the final results,” Lorton told The Nevada Independent in a text message on Wednesday.

In a Facebook post later in the day, Lorton thanked his supporters and criticized the voting system.

“This is something new that we have never been through before with alot [sic] of issues. I hope the voting system is back on track for the general election,” he wrote. “We always gain alot [sic] of ground in the General election, we didn't even do TV in the primary. Let's carry on and win this, our City really needs strong good leadership at this time.”

The three-way race to represent Reno’s historic neighborhoods in Ward 1 was close, but two-term Councilwoman Jenny Brekhus and real estate agent J.D. Drakulich are edging out Britton Griffith, vice president of her family’s development firm Reno Engineering Corporation.

Brekhus has received about 45.6 percent of the votes and Drakulich came in a close second with around 35.4 percent. Griffith, who had been endorsed by Mayor Hillary Schieve last fall, hovered around 19 percent.

“Thank you Ward 1 Voters for last night’s primary win. And to my family, friends and supporters also, I could not have done this without you,” Brekhus wrote in a Facebook post on Wednesday. “Congratulations to my two opponents also. You demonstrated your care for the residents of our ward in stepping up to represent. I am so excited to continue the conversations with voters into November!”

Drakulich also sent out a message on Facebook, thanking his supporters and well-wishers.

“This is a tough race, and I can’t begin to express my gratitude to everyone who believes in me. The incredible amount of support I have received is truly humbling,” he wrote. “Thank you for voting! We’ve got a long road in front of us until November...but we are ready!”

Griffith congratulated Drakulich and Brekhus via social media, and noted that the race “is just the beginning of things for our Biggest Little City.”

In the general election, Councilwoman Neoma Jardon and retired public administrator Darla Fink will face one another to determine who will represent Ward 5, which includes Northwest Reno, the University of Nevada, Reno, the Old Northwest and various residential neighborhoods as well as parts of downtown.

So far, Jardon leads the race with 52.6 percent of the votes and Fink, the second-highest vote getter, holds about 26.9 percent of the vote. The other two candidates did not break 13 percent.

Jardon’s goals center around increasing housing inventory, working with vulnerable populations, addressing safety issues, improving the city’s financial stability, supporting local businesses, and helping the city grow in a smart and sustainable way.

She emphasizes the need for the city and other regional partners to work together to create a stronger and more stable community.

"I'm incredibly thankful for the many who turned out to vote and supported me in the primary. The work before us as a community is significant," Jardon told The Nevada Independent. "I commit to continue to put in the work for our community and to lead our City in a positive direction."

Fink’s platform is dedicated to increasing public safety, honesty and transparency and responsible city growth, which she says on her campaign website “relies on citizen involvement and accountable representation.” 

On Twitter, Fink sent out a message of gratitude to voters and volunteers.

“It is time now to focus on November with the goal of providing a representative to Ward 5 who will always fight for YOUR interests at the Reno City Council,” she wrote. “I know our shared values in social justice, public health and responsive representation will create a more inclusive Ward 5.”

As candidates move on to the general election, they will face questions about how they plan to tackle homelessness, affordable housing, budget issues and police reform.

— Tabitha Mueller

Incumbents leap ahead of competitors in Sparks City Council race but likely not enough to evade a general election

Sparks City Council candidate Wendy Stolyarov campaign in Reno on June 9, 2020.

In the race for Sparks City Council, well-funded incumbents have a lead over their slew of challengers, but not enough to claim the seat outright in June. 

Incumbents Donald Abbott of Ward 1 and Paul Anderson of Ward 3 both held significant leads as of Saturday morning — 46.3 and 45.1 percent, respectively — but are falling short of the 50 percent plus one needed to reclaim their seats automatically. 

"It will be a fun next five months — let the fun begin," Abbott said in an interview with The Nevada Independent. "I love running for office. I love talking to my neighbors. I love that part of it. It's a fun time."

Abbott said he looks forward to continuing reaching out to community members, particularly those who did not vote, and hopes it is safe to knock on doors soon after coronavirus hampered the campaigning process. 

It appears he will face Wendy Stolyarov, who has 32.7 percent of the vote, in November. Both made their volunteer work and involvement in their community a central part of their campaign, but it was Abbott who dominated in fundraising. He ended the first quarter with more than $40,000 in available cash more than Stolyarov, a political activist who had previously worked for the Nevada Libertarian Party during the 2017 legislative session.

Other challengers include Kristine Grimes, a retired civilian employee of the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office who had 15.7 percent of the vote, and Dick Kirtley, a retired maintenance staffer for the City of Sparks, with 5.6 percent.

Like Abbott, Anderson said he hopes he can engage with the community once more as social distancing restrictions are being lifted.

"I'm just excited that it's looking like I get to move on in November and continue serving the City of Sparks," Anderson said the day after the election. "It's definitely been an honor since I was appointed. We're doing great things, and I look forward to continuing that."

Anderson was appointed to the seat in 2018 and spent $9,500 in mostly advertising and consulting in his attempt to keep it. His funding overshadowed other competitors; he ended the first quarter with $27,000 more in cash on hand than his closest opponent in funding, Quentin Smith, who had $1,000.

The race to compete against Anderson in November is close.

As of Sunday, it appears Anderson will face Smith, who has 18.4 percent of the vote. But Diaz and Andrea Tavener, a development officer for the Washoe County Library System, are close behind, with 18 percent and 12.9 percent of the vote, respectively. 

Opponent Dan Ness has 5.5 percent of the vote.

Facing no challengers, Ward 5 incumbent Kristopher Dahir, a pastor and administrator at a private Christian school, will reclaim his seat.

— Savanna Strott

Carson City Ward 4 has a new supervisor, Bagwell has wide lead in mayor race, close contest in Ward 2

Campaign signs on a Carson City business on June 4, 2020. Photo by Michelle Rindels.

One race for the Carson City Board of Supervisors ended Election Night with an evident victor, although it’s still too early to say what the results mean for two other municipal races. 

In Carson City, candidates who get over 50 percent of the vote during the primary take the seat automatically and avoid a general election in November. 

Lisa Schuette claimed the Ward 4 supervisor seat early on in Election Night. As of Sunday, Schuette has 65.5 percent of the vote. In a distant second place is Ronald Bratsch, a security manager and Marines veteran, with 18.8 percent of the vote.

"I am really just thrilled and grateful, and I appreciate everyone who voted for me," Schuette said in a phone call on Election Night. "I grew up in Carson City. I care deeply about our community, and I'm very excited about moving forward." 

Once in office, Schuette, the founder of the Carson Animal Services Initiative that helps animals and pet owners in the city, said her main priority will be on getting back on track with pre-pandemic progress and preparing for a potential second wave of COVID-19. She wants to be transparent in decision-making and help the community understand the process behind projects and plans.

During the campaign season, Schuette crushed her opponents in fundraising and spending in the first quarter. She out-raised her closest competitor in funding — Michael "Mike" Smith, a program manager of the American Job Center of Nevada — by more than $10,000, though $5,000 of her almost $13,000 came from various donations from herself and her husband. 

Smith, who moved to Carson City three years ago, took 15.8 percent of the vote.

The races for mayor and Ward 2 supervisor still lack clear results. 

In the five-way race for mayor, Supervisor Lori Bagwell leads with 50.4 percent of the vote as of Sunday. Although early results show Bagwell meets the 50 percent plus one requirement to win mayor outright, more votes are needed to declare Bagwell the winner with certainty. If the official results on June 19 show that Bagwell does not have the majority of votes, she will face a challenger in November. 

"I'm excited to represent the people of Carson City," she said in an interview on Election Night. "I'm most appreciative of their faith in me."

Bagwell describes financial responsibility as "near and dear to my heart," and says she will focus on ensuring the city has enough in savings if elected mayor. She has held the Ward 3 supervisor seat since 2014 and put budgeting high on her list of issues during her campaign.

In second place, with 23 percent of the vote, is Jim Shirk, a former supervisor who first ran for mayor in 2008. He often took to Facebook during his campaign to tell voters not to choose Bagwell, criticizing her approval of construction projects on Carson Street that some critics have said are unnecessary and will increase traffic. He also criticized her for accepting a campaign donation from the company with which the Board of Supervisors contracted for citywide trash pick up. 

Bagwell ended the first quarter with $9,000 more in available cash than all of her opponents' funds combined. Candidates Aaron Sims, a political activist and former Carson City Republican Party vice chairman, and Tod Jennings, an Air Force veteran and teacher, both raised less than $300. Nathaniel Killgore, a small business owner, and Shirk did not report any fundraising.

Jennings has 15 percent of the vote, Killgore has 6 percent and Sims has 6 percent as of Sunday morning.

In Ward 2, it's a three-way neck and neck race between Maurice "Mo" White, Stacie Wilke-McCulloch and Ronni Hannaman, who have 34.2 percent of the vote, 30.9 percent and 28.8 percent respectively.

Both White, a retired diesel mechanic, and Wilke-McCulloch, a Carson City School Board trustee, have run for the seat before. This is the first race for Hannaman, who is the executive director of the Carson City Chamber of Commerce. 

All three self-funded their campaigns and reported no spending outside of candidate declaration filing fees.

Marine veteran and two-time candidate for sheriff Lorne Houle has 5.7 percent of the vote.

The top two candidates from the Ward 2 primary will face off in November. 

— Savanna Strott

Douglas County Commission

Results current as of 3:45 p.m. on Friday.

  • Incumbent Dave Nelson leads challenger Danny Tarkanian by a mere 17 votes in the District 1 Republican primary.
  • Mark Gardner leads incumbent Larry Walsh in the District 3 Republican primary, with 60.2 percent of the vote.
  • Walt Nowosad leads Nathan Tolbert in the Republican primary for District 5, an open seat, with 52.4 percent of the vote.

After Iowa, Nevada Democrats entirely redesigned their caucus process in two weeks — and it mostly worked

Early last spring, Nevada Democrats made a commitment to run the most accessible, expansive and transparent caucus in the state’s history.

They planned to do that, in part, by offering for the first time four days of early voting for Democrats unable to show up on the day of the caucus to cast their presidential preference. Democrats were going to be able to early vote on an app on an iPad, which would tie in with a second phone-based app to be used by precinct chairs on Caucus Day to seamlessly fold in the presidential preferences of their precinct's early voters and report results back to the party.

And then Iowa happened. A coding error in an app designed to help precinct chairs report to the Iowa Democratic Party caused caucus results to be incorrectly transmitted, leaving candidates, voters and the general public in the dark on the night of the caucus about who had won. More than three weeks later, there is still no declared winner out of Iowa.

The problem for Nevada Democrats was that the company that had designed the app responsible for the Iowa fiasco had also designed their apps. They immediately decided to scrap the apps but had only 11 days to come up with a solution that would eventually allow nearly 75,000 Democrats to vote early at 80 sites and redistribute their presidential preferences back to their more than 2,000 home precincts to be counted on the day of the caucus, just as if they had been there to vote in person.

It wasn’t just 75,000 presidential preferences either. Nevada Democrats allowed early voters to rank a minimum of three and up to five candidates on their ballots just in case their first-choice pick didn’t receive enough support to be considered viable and qualify for delegates at their home precinct on the day of the caucus. Just as in-person caucusgoers are allowed to realign in support of a second candidate, the app was designed to automatically bump early caucusgoers to their next highest-ranked viable pick.

It was a process that was easy enough with the apps. It became a Herculean task without them.

But somehow, it worked.

On Caucus Day, precinct chairs opened the covers on the party-purchased iPads they had been assigned to reveal a browser-based Google Form tool, which they used to step-by-step report results from in-person attendees and reveal results from early voters. Precinct chairs who had been fretting for days about whether it was all going to work were pleasantly surprised.

“Oh man, we knocked it out of the park compared to Iowa. We kicked their butts,” said Chris Erbe, a precinct chair at West Career and Technical Academy. "I was so down on the whole process. I was convinced it was going to be a frickin’ nightmare, and I can’t believe how well it turned out.”

Of course, there were still issues with the process, and substantive ones at that. For one, the party didn’t finish reporting data from 100 percent of precincts until a little after noon on Monday, more than 48 hours after caucuses were called to order. Party spokeswoman Molly Forgey, in an email on Monday, attributed the delay in reporting to the party’s two-source verification process, which required double-checking results through some combination of paper caucus reporting sheets, phoned-in results from precinct chairs, texted in pictures of the reporting sheets and the backend of the Google Forms.

Forgey said that the verification process was followed by “several rounds of audits done by hand to ensure results reported correctly reflected the caucus reporting sheet.” 

However, Nevada Democrats did immediately start reporting partial results as individual caucuses concluded Saturday afternoon — unlike Iowa, which didn’t report the first results out of its caucus until nearly 24 hours after voting concluded — and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’s early lead was so wide that the Associated Press was easily able to call the race early that evening. Though the party still faced some complaints over the slow release of results, the clear Sanders victory staved off the barrage that Iowa Democrats suffered from campaigns, media and the public desperate to know who, exactly, had won the state’s caucus.

But Forgey said that the party would not have worked any more quickly to speed up the release of results had there not been a clear victor on Saturday.

“Our verification and audit process would have remained the same regardless of the outcome,” she said. “Our number one priority was getting this right.”

Still, the party has faced complaints of inaccuracies and discrepancies in their results, including from former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s campaign as well as other interested observers. The issues reported include claims of inaccurate allocation of delegates, awarding the wrong number of county convention delegates, viable delegates losing supporters during the realignment period and early voters being incorrectly realigned. (A New York Times analysis found errors and inconsistencies in at least 9 percent of precincts.)

Forgey said that the party conducted several rounds of audits to make sure the results reported matched the results on the paper caucus reporting sheets.

“As we’ve said previously, our source of truth and accuracy on results will be the paper record of the caucus reporting sheet from each precinct because it is the best indication of what took place in the room on Caucus Day and we ask representatives of each viable preference group to sign that document at the conclusion of their precinct caucus,” Forgey said.

Party officials had previously indicated that they did not intend to correct any errors in caucus math on the reporting sheets unless they received a recount request, which were due by 5 p.m. on Monday. No campaigns submitted such a request by the deadline.

There were also some isolated reports of iPad glitches as caucus sites, including at Sparks High School where an iPad reported zero realigned early voters. In that case, the site lead was able to manually review a paper backup of early votes to correct the inaccurate iPad reporting, and campaign representatives signed off on the hand calculation of delegates.

In a couple of other cases, precinct chairs told The Nevada Independent that a paper list of voters from their precinct who cast their ballots early didn’t arrive until late in the check-in process, and that they never ended up checking for double voters. But the party said that it had “internal processes in place to catch issues like this” and noted that caucusgoers were required to sign an affidavit at check in confirming they had not voted early.

“That's why we kept a paper record, had a robust data trail to determine and quickly flag problems, and a required check process where we could identify every participant,” Forgey said.

Those issues aside, the general perception from site leads, precinct chairs and caucusgoers was that the caucus went much more smoothly than they had anticipated, particularly in the wake of Iowa.

“The tool was pretty amazing. I was skeptical, but it made it quite easier,” said Laura Martin, the executive director of the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada and a precinct chair at Mojave High School. “The fact that it was on an iPad, I was able to go through the process and everyone was able to see what we were doing every step of the way.”

But behind the tool was an army of dozens of volunteers, including some who flew in from out of state, working behind the scenes and around the clock to hand scan and manually process nearly 75,000 ballots at the party’s data processing hubs in Northern and Southern Nevada before Caucus Day. Forgey said that the massive early voting turnout, which included 39,000 people on the final day, led to “time-consuming data entry” but that the party was able to process every preference before Caucus Day.

“We got a call that we need you to come in to look at this, check that, verify, and everybody jumped in,” said Clark County Democratic Party Chair Donna West, who volunteered at one of the hubs. “I’m really touched by how people from Washington and Oregon and California and the (Democratic National Committee) and people who had worked in Iowa came here to help us out to make sure that we got through this, that we were able to get the data, that we could report out results.”

The party also had to entirely re-train roughly 3,000 volunteers on the new system before early voting and Caucus Day.

That immense sacrifice paid off. But it also has people wondering whether the caucus — which Nevada Democrats have long touted as critical to their party-building apparatus, particularly because of the same-day voter registration option they offer — is worth the trouble, particularly when it continues to prove inaccessible for so many. 

Roughly 100,000 Democrats turned out to the caucus this year, more than the 84,000 who turned out in 2016 but fewer than the 118,000 who showed up in 2008. But looking at the percentages, only 16.4 percent of Democrats participated in the process this year, compared to 17.3 percent in 2016 and 27.1 percent in 2008.

On Sunday, former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, the architect of Nevada’s early caucus, finally joined the chorus of voices calling for an end to the caucus. In a statement, he lauded the party for its work to put on the caucus this year, but said it was time for a change.

“We've made it easier for people to register to vote here in Nevada in recent years and now we should make it easier for people to vote in the presidential contests,” Reid said. “That’s why I believe it’s time for the Democratic Party to move to primaries everywhere.”

Reid also reiterated his calls for Nevada to be the first state in the nation to participate in the Democratic nominating contest.

And on Monday, Nevada State Democratic Party Chair Will McCurdy released a statement saying that it was time to “start having a serious conversation ahead of the next cycle about the limitations of the caucus process and the rules around it.” 

“If our goal is to bring as many Nevada Democrats as possible into the fold to select our presidential nominee, it’s time for our State Party and elected leaders to look at shifting to a primary process moving forward,” McCurdy said.

From interviews with caucusgoers, it appears that many Democrats are already on board with that plan.

Alexis Abreu, 40, tried twice to vote early at the Enterprise Library and once at Lucy Ethiopian Restaurant, but gave up because of the long lines. On Saturday, she showed up in person at her home precinct at Durango High School to caucus.

“It was easier with two candidates,” Abreu said, referring to her experience caucusing in 2016. “I have to say that my opinion is that I hope we go toward just primary voting, with machines.”

Indy 2020: Caucus season, the most wonderful time of the (every 4) year(s)

Democratic presidential candidates appear on stage with Harry Reid

Your Nevada 2020 election newsletter. Please read, forward and subscribe.


Good morning, and welcome to Indy 2020, a biweekly newsletter focused on the 2020 presidential election in Nevada. A reminder that email subscribers get early access to this newsletter, so be sure to subscribe and tell your friends. It’ll be peachy.

With temperatures dropping, rain in Las Vegas, snow up north, the twinkle lights, that hum of excitement in the air, it’s beginning to look a lot like... the caucuses. (Didn’t say those twinkle lights were on trees, did I?)

Sing it with me: “Caucus time is here, happiness and cheer. Fun for all that campaigns call, their favorite time of year.”

Happiness. Cheer. Fun. I know, I kid. But it does feel like we’ve entered a new phase of the campaign since the last newsletter. We crossed the 100 days out threshold two weeks ago, and are now 88 days away from Nevada’s Democratic caucuses. Almost all the Democratic presidential hopefuls were in town recently for the Nevada State Democratic Party’s First-In-The-West Event, where a rainbow of campaign supporters (in “Heartland Yellow” t-shirts for Mayor Pete and “Liberty Green” for Warren) packed the room and the thrum of thundersticks filled the air. Team Kamala even brought a drum line and Team Biden a marching band. It was, dare I say, a festive occasion. 

But, with an actual holiday upon us, let’s get to the actual newsletter.

As always, a reminder to reach out to me with any tips, story ideas, comments, suggestions, and your favorite holiday song at megan@thenvindy.com. (I know, I couldn’t even wait until after Thanksgiving to start the Christmas music, and I put my tree up last week.)

Without further ado, a download of the recent 2020 happenings in Nevada.


TOP OF MIND

Titus endorses Biden: The big news Monday morning was that Rep. Dina Titus is backing former Vice President Joe Biden for president. She's the first major elected official in the state to come out in support of Biden.

One interesting highlight of her statement in support of Biden: "I am a proud progressive champion and I believe that nominating Joe Biden gives us the best chance to enact the progressive reforms that our country desperately needs."

You can read more about her endorsement here.

Biden and pot: Biden’s position against legalizing recreational marijuana on the federal level has been quite the story over the last couple of weeks.

His position isn't new. He's talked about it before, including in an interview with me in July. He told me that he wouldn’t, as president, restrict state decisions to legalize marijuana recreationally, but that he would not legalize it on the federal level without further research.

I even pressed him on why the decision should be left up to the states when studies have shown that people of color are disproportionately incarcerated for marijuana-related offenses. He told me that it’s a “state law” and tried to argue, essentially, that the federal government was powerless in the matter.

“The federal government cannot impose state law. You can’t come, in the federal government, and say that this is what you do,” Biden told me. “What you do is you hold accountable those departments and those agencies which in fact do not in fact enforce the law equally.”

The former vice president’s position on the issue came into the national spotlight, however, after he was asked whether his position on recreational marijuana has changed at a town hall-style event before Nevada State Democratic Party’s First-In-The-West Event two weekends ago. Biden said it hasn’t, and that there "hasn't been enough evidence that has been acquired as to whether or not (pot) is a gateway drug." (It was the use of the phrase “gateway drug,” reminiscent of the “Just Say No” campaign of the ‘80s and ‘90s, that earned Biden the most criticism.)

Then all of that led to a moment of incredulity from New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker over Biden’s position on marijuana on the debate stage last week. (Remember, most Democratic presidential candidates do support legalizing marijuana on the federal level.)

“This week, I hear him literally say that I don’t think we should legalize marijuana,” Booker said, turning to Biden. “I thought you might have been high when you said it.”

Finally, on a press call with Biden on Monday, I asked the former vice president whether he was wrong to suggest marijuana might be a gateway drug.

"I don't think it is a gateway drug," he said. "There's no evidence I've seen that suggests that."

Marijuana policy is not likely to be a make or break issue in the campaign, but Biden’s position against legalization is one distinct difference between him and not only his progressive competitors in the race — Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren — but also the moderates who are gunning for his supporters, including South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar.

Speaking of which…

Klobuchar staffs up in Nevada: Nine months into her presidential campaign, Klobuchar has finally hired staff in Nevada. She’s brought two members of former Rep. Beto O’Rourke’s presidential team here in Nevada: Marina Negroponte will be state director and C.H. Miller will be political director. It’ll be interesting to see how her campaign ramps up here as she plays catch up over the next couple of months.

Delegate selection: On a press call Monday morning, Nevada State Democratic Party Chair Will McCurdy announced that the party's delegate selection plan has officially been approved by the Democratic National Committee. The plan includes major changes to the caucus process, including four days of in-person early voting and offering presidential preference cards in Tagalog. It also includes provisions continuing the practice of offering at-large caucus sites on the Strip to make it easier for casino workers to participate.

On the call, DNC Chair Tom Perez projected "record turnout" in Nevada's upcoming caucuses because of the changes the party has put forward. (In 2008, roughly 118,000 Democrats, or 27 percent, participated in the caucus, compared to only about 84,000 people, or 17 percent, in 2016.)

You can read the most current version of the party's delegate selection plan here. One interesting detail: Participants will be required to choose at least three candidates, in order of preference, and no more than five when early voting. This is because caucusgoers' early votes will flow back to their home precincts and be counted as if they were actually voting in-person on Caucus Day with their neighbors. If there isn't enough support for a given candidate at that precinct to be considered "viable" in the caucus process, caucusgoers will be given an opportunity to realign in favor of a second (or third or fourth or fifth) choice candidate — which is why having those backup choices will be important, since caucusgoers who early voted will not actually be there in person to take part in that realignment process.

First in the West: I don’t know that any hearts or minds were changed at the Nevada State Democratic Party’s big event two weekends ago. But it was a good opportunity to see the candidates whittle their stump speeches to 10 minutes and give them in rapid fire succession. Warren talked about “big, structural change” and Sanders talked about a “political revolution,” while Biden warned that Democrats have to be “real careful about who we nominate, because the risk of nominating someone who wouldn’t beat Trump is a nation and a world our children and our grandkids won’t want to live in.” I was there, as was my colleague Jackie Valley.

Latinos for Trump: I went to a Latinos for Trump event a couple of weeks ago at the East Las Vegas Community Center, where Second Lady Karen Pence was speaking. A fairly diverse crowd showed up to the event, which highlighted the kind of pitch that the Trump campaign will be making to Latinos. Part of it is economics (including record low Hispanic unemployment), and part of it is religion (Pence talked about faith-based providers in foster care and adoption, as well as abortion.) 

“The power you have as Latinos, this room could be the difference,” Pence told the group.

Pete on the radio: Some news for you first in the Indy — Buttigieg’s campaign started running ads on Thursday on urban contemporary radio stations in Las Vegas. His campaign, which did not specify the size of the buy, said that this is the first radio ad of the campaign in Nevada, and that they plan to expand the buy to include more stations across the state in the coming weeks, including Spanish music and talk stations.


ON THE INDY

Presidential candidates spend campaign cash in Nevada: Stays at the Bellagio. Catering from Lotus of Siam. Democratic presidential hopefuls spent more than $2.1 million in Nevada in the first nine months of the year. I combed through the campaign finance reports so you don't have to.

Harris on the pod: California Sen. Kamala Harris joined me on the podcast last week to talk about an array of issues — from internal campaign dynamics to Medicare-for-all. She told me that, despite her low polling numbers in Nevada and nationally, she is still “very much in the game.” On her Medicare-for-all plan, which retains a role for private insurers, she insisted that “everybody’s going to have to have to compete, and, you know, the beauty of competition is that the best will rise.”

She also told me that she’d like to see uniform federal regulations on marijuana instead of leaving it up to individual states to regulate it. Read the full interview here, but if you want to hear her favorite movie with a scene in Nevada or what casino game she’d be, you’ll have to listen to the full podcast here.

Reid not ruling anyone out yet: Former Democratic Senate Leader Harry Reid, talking with reporters before the First-In-The West Event, said he wasn’t ruling any presidential hopefuls out yet — even those getting into the race late in the game.

“I think it’s way too early to start crossing people off the list,” he said.

He also rejected the notion that any of the candidates are too liberal for Nevada.

“You can go back many, many decades. It’s always the same argument,” he said. “So, obviously, people are looking for reasons why people are doing better or worse in any given week. I think that it’s now very fluid who’s going to be our nominee.”

Full details of that conversation here.

First-In-The-West sponsors: Many Democratic presidential campaigns sponsored the Nevada State Democratic Party’s big event. Others did not. I took a look at all of that — and whether it means anything — here.

Indy Video on weekend of campaigning: Videographer Jana Sayson traveled around Las Vegas to many of the candidate events scheduled around the First-In-The-West event, including town halls hosted by Biden, Warren and Sanders and a “Westside Pride” Black Community Summit, which was put on by Rep. Steven Horsford and attended by former House and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro, Harris and Warren. Check out the video she put together here.

Stop the Madness comes to the Strip: The Republicans took their anti-impeachment “Stop the Madness” campaign to a digital billboard truck the night of the Democratic event.


CAMPAIGN NUGGETS

Staffing changes and office openings

  • Team Buttigieg is now at 55 staffers in the Silver State and plans to open another Las Vegas office before the end of the year, which will bring the campaign to 11 offices statewide.
  • The Sanders campaign plans to have close to 100 paid staffers on the ground by the end of the year. (They were at more than 70 a couple of weeks ago.)
  • Tech entrepreneur Andrew Yang’s campaign opened a new field office in Reno on Sunday. The campaign also recently hired additional staff, including communications staff and a political director.

New endorsements

  • In addition to Titus, Biden has received recent endorsements from former Nevada State Democratic Party Chair Roberta Lange, former Assembly Speaker John Oceguera and Washoe County School Board President Katy Simon Holland, among others. (Biden now has three former Nevada State Democratic Party chair endorsements.)
  • Castro received six endorsements last week, including from Marianne Williamson’s former state director. He also named his Nevada advisory board which includes prior endorses including Democratic National Committeewoman Allison Stephens and West Wendover Mayor Daniel Corona.
  • Booker received endorsements from 30 “community leaders and activists” earlier this month. He has also announced more than 20 new precinct captains.
  • For the latest on presidential endorsements, check out our tracker.

Upcoming candidate visits

  • Billionaire Tom Steyer is returning to Nevada for a post-Thanksgiving weekend trip. On Saturday, he’ll participate in a town hall with Hispanics in Politics, tour Veterans Village, and co-host a discussion with the League of Women Voters to talk about implementing Congressional term limits and ending gerrymandering on Saturday. The following day, he’ll participate in a “Women for Tom Steyer Roundtable Conversation” and a town hall with Sun City Anthem Democrats.
  • A group of labor unions and associations is hosting a presidential candidate forum on infrastructure at UNLV over President’s Day weekend. Host committee members include International Union of Operating Engineers, Transportation Workers Union, American Society of Civil Engineers, American Public Transportation Association, Value of Water Campaign, American Road and Transportation Builders Association, and the Association of Equipment Manufacturers.
  • For the latest on presidential candidate visits, check out our visit tracker.

Surrogate stops

  • Labor leader and civil rights activist Dolores Huerta was in town for Harris on Nov. 13. She attended an immigration roundtable with the Nevada Immigrant Coalition and a Latinos Para Kamala house party.
  • Sanders National Political Director Analilia Mejia and Latino Press Secretary Belén Sisa visited Nevada on Nov. 14 and 15 to attend a “Bernie 2020 Happy Hour” at Hop Nuts Brewing and host an immigration roundtable at Mi Familia Vota.
  • North Carolina Rep. G.K. Butterfield, the former chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, was in Las Vegas on Nov. 18 to attend a Black Community Summit.

Other election news

  • Buttigieg’s campaign hosted a volunteer summit in Las Vegas over the weekend to train supporters to become precinct captains and organizers. The campaign plans to hold a similar event in Northern Nevada in December. Before the First-in-The-West event, the campaign also held a weekend of action and knocked on 10,000 doors.
  • The Sanders campaign has said that it has made more than 2 million attempted voter contacts, hosted more than 1,500 organizing events across the state and signed up more than 1,000 people to volunteer on Caucus Day. The campaign also recently launched Workers for Bernie in Northern Nevada, a group of labor volunteers with representatives from more than 14 local unions.
  • Harris’s campaign has announced that it has made more than 1 million voter contacts via doors, calls and texts and hosted events in 14 of 17 Nevada counties. It also announced an Educators for Kamala Committee, which includes state Sen. Joyce Woodhouse, who endorsed Harris in July.
  • Steyer’s campaign has donated $1,000 to the National Latino Peace Officers Association for their annual toy drive and Christmas en el Barrio event. The association plans to provide Christmas gifts this year to kids at C.P. Squires Elementary School in North Las Vegas. The campaign is also pledging to donate toys to this year’s toy drive.
  • Team Booker is to host volunteer potlucks and food drives over Thanksgiving and will begin volunteer caucus trainings in English and Spanish after the holiday weekend.

DOWN BALLOT NEWS

Assembly Democrats announce endorsements: Seven Assembly hopefuls have received the backing of the Nevada Assembly Democratic Caucus. They include two SEIU stewards, a teachers union president, and Klobuchar’s new state political director.

House GOP targets Lee on impeachment: The American Action Network, which is funded is funded almost entirely via the Congressional Leadership Fund, launched a half-million dollar ad buy last week targeting Rep. Susie Lee on the impeachment investigation. My colleague Jacob Solis has the details.

Lee defends impeachment inquiry at town hall: Lee told a crowd at a Las Vegas town hall this weekend that she was upholding her oath to the U.S. Constitution when she voted in support of an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. (Roughly a dozen pro-Trump demonstrators tried to heckle her at the event.) My colleague Jacob Solis has more.


OTHER REQUIRED READING

  • Presidential hopefuls court DREAMer Astrid Silva even though she can’t vote (AP)
  • Reid: ‘Medicare for All is too expensive,’ $22 trillion is ‘a large number to swallow’ (Las Vegas Sun)
  • 100 days to the caucus (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

Assembly Democrats announce seven endorsements in open seats including two SEIU stewards, Washoe teachers union president

Assembly Chambers during speech

The Assembly Democratic Caucus is announcing seven endorsements on Friday, ahead of a major legislative reshuffling in 2020 as lawmakers hit their term limits or seek higher office.

All of the endorsements are in districts that are either solidly Democratic or lean Democratic and which Democrats won handily in the 2018 election. The party currently holds a supermajority in the Assembly, and are just shy of two-thirds support in the Senate.

The caucus is endorsing Shondra Summers-Armstrong, a management analyst with the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada and chief steward with SEIU Local 1107, for Assembly District 6. Assemblyman Will McCurdy, the occupant of that seat, is running for Clark County Commission. Democrat Katie Duncan, founder of the Ward 5 Chamber of Commerce, is also running for the seat.

In Assembly District 7, the caucus is backing Cameron “CH” Miller, who was announced Friday as Nevada political director on Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s presidential campaign. Assemblywoman Dina Neal, who has represented that district since 2010, is running for the state Senate.

Clara “Claire” Thomas is the caucus’s pick in Assembly District 17, which was represented by Assemblyman Tyrone Thompson until he suddenly passed away earlier this year. Thomas is a case manager with the Clark County District Attorney’s Office and, like Summers-Armstrong, a steward with SEIU Local 1107.

The caucus is supporting Venicia Considine, director of development and community relations at the Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada, for Assembly District 18. That seat is currently represented by Assemblyman Richard Carrillo, who is running against Assemblyman Ellen Spiegel for the state Senate seat that Sen. David Parks is termed out of.

To that end, the caucus is endorsing David Orentlicher, a professor at UNLV’s Boyd School of Law and co-director of the UNLV Health Law Program, for Spiegel’s seat in Assembly District 20.

The caucus will also support Elaine Marzola, an attorney and owner at Marzola Injury Law, for Assemblyman Ozzie Fumo’s seat in Assembly District 21. Fumo is seeking a position on the Nevada Supreme Court. Natha Anderson, president of the Washoe Education Association, will receive the caucus’s endorsement in Assembly District 30. That seat has been held by Assemblyman Greg Smith since Mike Sprinkle resigned in the wake of sexual harassment allegations against him.

Presidential hopefuls tout Nevada bona fides, carve out areas of distinction at pre-caucus political gathering

Fourteen Democratic presidential hopefuls flocked to Las Vegas on Sunday with the goal of wooing Nevadans.

But the Sunday night gathering at the Bellagio Hotel and Casino wasn’t an extended courtship. It was a speed-dating session.

Candidates had a maximum of 10 minutes to sell themselves — a change from their usual campaign rallies and town halls that can stretch anywhere from 20 minutes to over an hour — to a packed ballroom of more than 1,600 potential caucus-goers.

It was a hard sell. The vast majority of attendees showed up to support a particular candidate, packing into designated sections of seats purchased by the campaigns while wearing T-shirts and holding thundersticks in their campaign’s signature color. A smaller minority, who were seated in a general admission section toward the front, were there to suss out their preferred presidential choice.

It was also a change of venue for many of the candidates, who have been spending most of their time campaigning in Iowa and New Hampshire. The Nevada State Democratic Party’s First In The West Event allowed the candidates to pitch themselves to a more diverse populace, one that party leaders tout is more reflective of the nation as a whole than either of the two early nominating states.

“Our caucus couldn’t be more crucial to this presidential primary,” Nevada State Democratic Party Chair Will McCurdy told the crowd. “In the Silver State, we are the voice of diversity, we are the voice of union brothers and sisters, and we are battle born voices.”

The candidates largely delivered condensed versions of their traditional stump speeches at the roughly four-hour event. But those shortened speeches drove at the heart of how the candidates are selling themselves on the campaign trail.

Former Vice President Joe Biden’s pitch was simple.

“We better be real careful about who we nominate, because the risk of nominating someone who wouldn’t beat Trump is a nation and a world our children and our grandkids won’t want to live in,” Biden said. “I can beat Trump. I can beat him.”

What Biden — who holds a substantial lead in several Nevada-specific polls — is selling is a return to the normalcy of the pre-Donald Trump era.

After securing the White House, Biden said he would work on restoring a sense of dignity, building on the momentum from his years in the Obama administration. He framed himself as the candidate who could make visions come to fruition, particularly on the issue of health care, where he has proposed a more moderate public option that would allow Americans to buy into a government-run health insurance plan.

“I think you’ve got to ask yourself, ‘Who has done it? Who’s got the idea?’ A lot of people have the ideas, a lot of people have a vision, a lot of people have a plan, but who’s actually got it done? Who’s actually got it through the United States Congress? And got it passed?” Biden said. “I’m the only one on the stage that was part of getting that done, and I’ve done it and I can do it again.”

But some of his opponents in the crowded Democratic field hyped the need for more dramatic change in the wake of a Trump presidency. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, for instance, repeated his calls for a “revolution,” touting bold proposals such as canceling $1.6 trillion in student debt and implementing a Medicare-for-all health care system.

“In this unprecedented moment in American history, we need an unprecedented response,” Sanders said. “We need a political revolution.”

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, meanwhile, reiterated her desire for sweeping changes she said would reduce “corruption” and stop the erosion of the middle class. In addition to highlighting her support for Medicare-for-all, she pitched her plans to enact a 2 percent wealth tax on assets above $50 million, provide tuition-free college, and offer universal child care and pre-K.

“We’re not going to change it by a nibble here and little bit of a change over there,” she said. “We’re going to change it with big structural change.”

Warren and Sanders are polling roughly even in Nevada, but well behind Biden, according to several recent polls.

While many of the candidates referenced the fight for the White House, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg asked Nevadans what kind of nation they’d like to see the hypothetical day after Trump leaves office. For instance, he talked about uniting Americans on climate change and showing how environmentally friendly policies support both the auto worker in Indiana and the solar worker in Nevada. 

“I will never allow us to get so wrapped up in the fight that we start to think the fighting is the point,” he said. “The point is what lies on the other side of the fight, and that’s the hope of a better future.”

Buttigieg, as he has previously, also touted the powerful Culinary Union, which represents 60,000 hotel workers across the state, in defending his health care plan. He has criticized the Medicare-for-all plans backed by Warren and Sanders by saying they would strip hard fought health insurance plans from unions, while his so-called “Medicare-for-all-who-want-it” would allow workers to keep them.

“If you are a Culinary worker who negotiated a plan you like, you should have the option to keep it,” Buttigieg said.

New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, who has been struggling in the polls in Nevada and nationally, made a hard sell on his positive message.

“You can fight with a ferocity but without being cruel,” Booker said. “You can fight with strength without being mean. You can lift folks up without tearing others down.”

Other candidates put a Nevada-specific spin on their speeches. Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar lauded recent electoral victories in Nevada, mentioned the Las Vegas shooting two years ago and praised passage of a state worker collective bargaining bill in the last legislative session, while tech entrepreneur Andrew Yang highlighted Nevada’s position as the most vulnerable state to automation.

Billionaire Tom Steyer lauded the Legislature for passing bills to increase the minimum wage to $12 an hour, restore voting rights to formerly incarcerated individuals and implement a 50 percent renewable portfolio standard by 2030.

“This is a state that’s the template for what has to happen, not just grassroots, but actual change that the people want,” Steyer said.

California Sen. Kamala Harris touted her work going after banks during the foreclosure crisis as attorney general of her state alongside Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, who was then Nevada’s attorney general.

“When I was the attorney general of California representing the second largest department of justice in the United States meant taking on the five big banks of the United States who had been engaged in predatory lending practices here in Nevada, in California,” Harris said, ‘working with Catherine Cortez Masto to say, ‘No, we will take you on and you cannot get away with taking advantage of our families and there will be consequences.’”

Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro, who has visited Nevada more than any other presidential hopeful this cycle, talked about talking with the homeless who live in the storm drains beneath the Las Vegas Strip and his plans to visit the Anaconda Copper Mine near Yerington on Monday to learn about local groundwater contamination.

Castro added that Las Vegas “represents the future of our nation.”

“One that's growing, one that is diverse, one that is young, one that is aspiring,” Castro said. “That’s what I want for all of our communities, places of opportunity, places where if you work hard you can get ahead.”

Three infrequent visitors to the state this cycle — former Reps. John Delaney and Joe Sestak, and Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet — also attempted to introduce themselves to Nevadans at the event.

The event featured a tribute to former Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid, who retired from the Senate after three decades of service in 2016. Democratic presidential hopefuls filed onto the stage during the tribute as the state song “Home Means Nevada” played in the background to honor the senator.

“Nevada is a diverse state and we’re proud of it. We’re proud of Nevada,” Reid said. “We’re a state where people can accomplish anything, and that’s why someone like me has been able to do good things, because Nevada is that way.”

Other attendees of the event included Gov. Steve Sisolak, Cortez Masto, Sen. Jacky Rosen, Reps. Steven Horsford and Dina Titus, Assembly Speaker Jason Frierson and Senate Majority Leader Nicole Cannizzaro.

The pep rally-style atmosphere that kicked off the event — thunder sticks, glow sticks, banners and chants — began to peter out as the evening progressed. Many attendees left after the top-tier candidates spoke, creating rows upon rows of empty seats. Casino workers even began rolling garbage cans down the aisles and picking up discarded items as the final speaker — former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, who just entered the race last week — took the stage.

“We have learned to shout our anger and whisper our kindness and it is completely upside down,” Patrick said, rising to a crescendo as the evening wound down. “We need to learn again to shout our kindness, to shout our sense of justice. If we do that, we will rebuild of the character of the country.”

The mass departures irked 34-year-old Erin Bovenzi, a Yang supporter who stayed until the very end. She wanted to hear every candidate speak and was dismayed others didn’t share that goal. 

“In the end, I’m just glad I stayed,” she said, while reiterating her enthusiasm for Yang. “He’s going to be the nominee.”

Not all attendees came with a preferred candidate in mind. Julie Liebo, 66, sported five campaign buttons on her shirt — one each for Sanders, Klobuchar, Booker, Buttigieg and Castro. The buttons reflect her indecision less than 100 days out from Nevada’s caucus.

“I think it’s a little crowded, yes,” she said, referring to the Democratic field. “It does harm us a little bit.”

This was the first year Liebo, an administrator at a nursing home, and her wife, Charlotte Morgan, a pastor, attended the First In the West Event. They consider the coming election a crucial point in American history that could change the trajectory of things like health care for the better or LGBT rights for the worse. 

Liebo left the political gathering with even greater enthusiasm for Buttigieg, whom she sees as an intelligent leader with a clear plan who isn’t afraid to speak about his faith.

“Thank God we have the ability to have this happen tonight and have all these people here,” she said. “I love being a part of this. I’m going to do everything I can to get everybody I know out to vote.”

Indy 2020: Biden leads in Nevada poll; Democratic hopefuls prepare to return to the Silver State

Your Nevada 2020 election newsletter. Please read, forward and subscribe.


Good morning, and welcome to Indy 2020, a biweekly newsletter focused on the 2020 presidential election in Nevada. A reminder that email subscribers get early access to this newsletter, so be sure to subscribe and tell your friends. It’ll be peachy.

There’s an image that I haven’t been able to get out of my head for the last 24 or so hours, and that’s of former Vice President Joe Biden as Schrödinger’s cat. (Thanks to this Atlantic article by Edward-Isaac Dovere.)

It neatly puts a bow on some of the things I’ve been mulling over the last week: How Biden seems to be flailing in Iowa and New Hampshire but has a sizable lead (at least so far) in Nevada, according to our poll and another released by Emerson last week. How Nevada might not really be a battleground state if Biden wins, but maybe it could be if Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders or Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren does. How with 102 days until Nevada’s caucus it seems like everything — Democratic candidates winning and losing, Trump winning and losing, Nevada being a battleground state and not — is at the same time happening and not happening inside that box.

The good news is that (eventually!) we get to open the box.

As always, a reminder to reach out to me with any tips, story ideas, comments, suggestions, and your favorite thought experiment — am I the only one still stuck on Maxwell’s demon (especially as it was used in The Crying of Lot 49)? — at megan@thenvindy.com.

Without further ado, a download of the recent 2020 happenings in Nevada.


TOP OF MIND

The Indy poll: I had many thoughts on our latest Indy Poll — most of which are summed up in this story and thread — but I’ll briefly note some of them here. The overall takeaway is that former Vice President Joe Biden leads Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders by 10 points in Nevada, though his backers reported being less strongly committed to him than Warren and Sanders supporters are to their candidates. Warren was also the top second choice candidate, with 21 percent support, followed by Sanders at 19 percent.

The caveat: Only 44 percent of respondents said they were certain of their first choice pick, with 55 percent saying they still might choose someone else.

Filing deadlines: It’s all good and well to be campaigning in the Silver State, but candidates still have to actually file with the Nevada State Democratic Party in order to participate in the caucus process. I’m told that only South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, billionaire Tom Steyer, Biden, California Sen. Kamala Harris, and Sanders have filed so far.

Candidates have until Jan. 1 to file, which means that it isn’t too late for a late bloomer(berg) to get into the race here. (For what it’s worth, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has indicated that he’ll skip the four early states, Nevada included, if he gets into the race.)

Sound and fury, signifying nothing: Last week, the Las Vegas City Council passed a controversial ordinance that makes sleeping or camping in downtown Las Vegas a misdemeanor crime, but not before several Democratic presidential hopefuls had a chance to weigh in with their opposition to the measure.

I noted in the last newsletter that Warren and Steyer had joined former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro in opposing the proposed ordinance. On Monday, two days before the hearing, they were joined by New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker

The following day, Sanders joined in, with his campaign promising to use its email list to encourage its supporters to turn out to oppose the ordinance outside City Hall on Wednesday, soon followed by Biden, who tweeted that he was “proud to stand with folks in Las Vegas fighting against a proposed ordinance that effectively criminalizes homelessness” and Harris, who said “criminalizing homelessness is not the answer.” Castro also urged residents to call their city councilmembers.

Then, the morning of the vote, Buttigieg also came out against the ordinance with a statement: “Homelessness is a moral crisis that defies easy solutions, and the best way to address it is with smart investments in housing, supportive services, and health. I stand with members of the homeless community and advocates in opposing this ordinance."

But it was ultimately to no avail. The City Council passed the measure 5-2. (One of the “no” votes was Councilman Brian Knudsen, who backs Harris.) Warren, Castro and Sanders all came out right after the City Council’s vote, condemning it. Booker and Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet criticized it the day after the vote.

The state of the #WeMatter state: Castro, appearing on MSNBC on Sunday, called for changing the order of the early nominating states.

“I actually believe that we do need to change the order of the states because I don’t believe that we’re the same country we were in 1972,” Castro said. “That’s when Iowa first held it’s caucus first, and by the time we have the next presidential election in 2024 it’ll have been more than 50 years since 1972.”

By my math, if Iowa is no longer first and New Hampshire is no longer second, that would leave a certain #WeMatter state with the first nominating contest in the nation.

Staffing up (and down): It’s been nearly two weeks since Harris’s campaign announced that it would be laying off or redeploying staff from headquarters, as well as New Hampshire, Nevada and Iowa. But Nevada still hasn’t seen what New Hampshire has, with the campaign essentially halting all activity there.

I asked Harris while she was here over the weekend whether she still plans to redeploy staff from Nevada to Iowa. She gave me two non-answer answers.

“I care deeply about this state, I have worked closely with this state years before I ran and decided to run for president and I'll continue to focus resources on the state of Nevada,” Harris said, followed by, “I'm focused on Iowa, to be sure, there's no question. It's the first in the nation primary, and I'm all in on Iowa. I'm leaving Nevada to fly back to Iowa but Nevada is going to always be a priority for me.”

This comes as Castro has also announced that he is shifting his resources, with an increased focus in the coming weeks on Iowa, Nevada and Texas.

Ramping up before the first-in-the-West dinner: Buttigieg’s campaign here tells me that they plan to knock 10,000 doors as part of a weekend of action ahead of the Nevada State Democratic Party’s first-in-the-West event Sunday, where 13 Democratic hopefuls, including the South Bend mayor, will appear. (More on that below.)

Staffers and office count survey: I reached out to all the campaigns with a presence here to find out their latest staff and office census. Not all responded, but here’s what I got from those who did:

  • Biden: About 40 staff, with the campaign in the process of actively trying to hire more, and five offices.
  • Booker: About 20 staff, with plans to add more in the next few weeks, and two offices in Las Vegas and Reno.
  • Buttigieg: 46 staff, with plans to add more to the team over the next week, and 10 offices. (That includes six organizers full time in rural Nevada, and offices in Pahrump, Fallon and Elko.)
  • Castro: four staffers, and one office.
  • Harris: 26 staffers, and four offices.
  • Sanders: 72 staffers, and eight offices, with plans to open an Elko office soon.
  • Steyer: More than two dozen staffers and two offices.
  • Warren: More than 50 staffers, and nine offices.
  • Yang: 14 staffers, and two offices.

Michael Bennet was also here: The Colorado senator recently made his second trip to the state to speak at the HLTH Conference here in Las Vegas. “I’m running because I think I’ve got an agenda I think can not just unite Democrats but also win back some of the 9 million people who voted twice for Barack Obama and once for Donald Trump and that’s what it’s going to take to win purple states like Colorado and Nevada and Iowa and win not just the presidency but the Senate as well,” Bennet told CBS News’ Alex Tin outside of the conference.

Medicare for all delegates: Activist Christine Kramar, who was a Sanders national delegate from Nevada in 2016, has started a new PAC focused on electing delegates who support Medicare for all to the Democratic National Convention. It’s called the Medicare for All Delegates Network. (Thanks to my colleague, Riley Snyder, for spotting the FEC filing.)

Kramar told me the goal is to get half of the delegates elected from each state to support Medicare for all.

“The project is about beating the second ballot in the Presidential nomination process at the national convention,” Kramar said in a text. “We may end up helping to elect delegates from multiple Presidential candidates who become no longer bound to those candidates as all delegates are on the second ballot to unite around the candidate with the best Medicare for all plan.”

What she’s talking about here is if no candidate has enough delegates at the Democratic National Convention to clinch the nomination, all delegates that were bound at the state level become unbound and can support whichever candidate they want. The goal here would be that those candidate could pool their power to back a candidate who supports Medicare for all.


ON THE INDY

Nevada’s battleground status may depend on Biden: Republicans here in Nevada are gearing up for the general election. But several Republican operatives on the ground say that whether Nevada is actually in play may come down to whether the Democrats choose Biden as their nominee.

Harris campaigns with Culinary: The California senator was the first to be invited by the politically powerful Culinary Union to a town hall. There, she threaded the needle with her union-friendly Medicare-for-all plan.

Nevada still a battleground, DNC says: My colleague Humberto Sanchez was at a DNC briefing last week, where one party official said that Trump faces “historic headwinds” here. “There’s not a lot of evidence that he can successfully compete and win there,” he said.

Yang and Steyer join the pod: My colleague Jacob Solis sat down with tech entrepreneur Andrew Yang recently to talk about universal basic income and Yucca Mountain. I chatted last week with Steyer, who called Warren’s health care plan a “huge risk” and weighed in on contamination associated with the Anaconda Copper Mine.

Steyer stumps in Nevada: While in town last week, Steyer hosted a town hall in Henderson where he talked about health care and veterans. Indytern Shannon Miller was there.


CAMPAIGN NUGGETS

Staffing changes and office openings

  • Booker Campaign Manager Addisu Demissie opened the campaign’s Reno office on Oct. 29, in addition to participating in a housing clinic tour.
  • Warren opened a new office in Southwest Las Vegas on Nov. 2. (Former Clark County Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani was there and also to kick off the campaign’s weekend of action.) Her campaign also opened its Elko campaign office on Nov. 9, its eighth campaign office in the state, with plans to open a ninth in the near future.
  • Steyer opened his Nevada headquarters in person on Nov. 3. On Wednesday, his son, Sam Steyer, attended the grand opening of the campaign’s Reno office.

New endorsements

  • Warren was recently endorsed by Clark County Public Administrator Robert Telles and Bob Fulkerson, founder of the Progressive Alliance of Nevada.
  • Team Buttigieg on Monday announced the formation of “Nevada Leaders and Military Communities for Pete,” a group of servicemembers, veterans, members of military families and others who are backing Buttigieg in Nevada.
  • As I first told you on Twitter, Assemblyman Ozzie Fumo — who plans to run for Nevada Supreme Court next year — will withdraw all of his endorsements, which include Biden, before the judicial filing period in January "in order to comply with judicial canons."

Upcoming candidate visits

  • Self-help author Marianne Williamson is in town through Wednesday. She’s scheduled to speak to residents of the Siena Retirement Community in Summerlin on Tuesday and host a meet-and-greet at UNLV on Wednesday.
  • Thirteen Democratic presidential hopefuls are slated to appear the Nevada State Democratic Party’s first-in-the-West event at the Bellagio on Friday night. Those who will attend are Bennet, Biden, Booker, Buttigieg, Castro, former Maryland Rep. John Delaney, Harris, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Sanders, former Pennsylvania Rep. Joe Sestak, Steyer, Warren and Yang.
  • Biden has announced that he will also be in Las Vegas on Saturday and Elko on Sunday before the event. The former vice president will also be back in Nevada on Dec. 10 and 11.

Surrogate stops

  • Biden campaign manager Greg Schultz was in town on Oct. 29.
  • Biden campaign co-chair Rep. Cedric Richmond, the former chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, attended the Washoe Dems Virginia Demmler Honor Roll dinner in Reno on Nov. 6. The following day, he met with local community members and officials in Las Vegas.
  • Sam Steyer also attended the Virginia Demmler Honor Roll dinner.
  • Chasten Buttigieg, husband of Pete Buttigieg, was in Nevada on Nov. 2, kicking off a canvass in Southwest Las Vegas, meeting with organizers and touring Positively Kids — a nonprofit that focuses on meeting the needs of medically fragile kids and developmentally delayed children — with Assemblywomen Michelle Gorelow and Shea Backus.
  • Several surrogates traveled to Elko on Saturday for the Elko County Democratic Party’s Roosevelt/Kennedy Dinner, including Carolyn Booker, mother of Cory Booker; Valerie Biden Owens, Joe Biden’s sister and longtime political advisor; and Doug Emhoff, Harris’s husband.
  • Carolyn Booker also hosted a meet and greet in Winnemucca on Saturday, as well as a breakfast in Elko and a meet and greet at the campaign’s Reno office on Sunday.
  • Emhoff also made stops in Winnemucca and West Wendover while in northeastern Nevada.
  • Second Lady Karen Pence will be in Las Vegas on Thursday for a Latinos for Trump event at the East Las Vegas Community Center.

Other election news

  • The Nevada State Democratic Party opened its first field office in the Historic West Side on Oct. 29. The opening was attended by Assemblyman Will McCurdy, the party’s chair.
  • The party also hosted a weekend of action over the weekend, with caucus trainings in Las Vegas, Reno and Carson City. The party also plans to host veterans-centered training at Veterans Village on Nov. 13 and a women-to-women phone bank at a party field office.
  • Sanders’ campaign announced that it is “rapidly approaching” 2 million attempted voter contacts in the state.
  • Warren’s team hosted an afternoon tea service event called “Putting the Tea in Persist” with a conversation with leaders of the arts, entrepreneurial, and nonprofit communities. The campaign plans to hold a community information and listening session with Assemblyman Howard Watts, who has endorsed Warren, at Pearson Community Center today focused on issues that impact the Black community.
  • Buttigieg’s campaign plans to hold volunteer summits on Nov. 22 in Las Vegas and Dec. 6 in Reno, with the goal of training of hundreds of volunteers.

DOWN BALLOT NEWS

Reshuffling on the Board of Regents: Clark County Regent Trevor Hayes won’t run for re-election to Board of Regents, Indytern Shannon Miller reports.

Supreme Court changes: Shannon also reports that Associate Chief Justice Kristina Pickering will seek re-election in 2020, while Chief Justice Mark Gibbons will not.

Independent redistricting commission:  The League of Women Voters is pushing for a ballot initiative that would create an independent redistricting commission to combat partisan gerrymandering, my colleague Riley Snyder reports.

Ranked choice voting for state Senate: Riley also talked to a teacher in rural Nevada who is proposing a measure to amend the Nevada Constitution by substantially overhauling the structure of state Senate elections and including elements of ranked choice voting.

SOS to CCC: Former Democratic Secretary of State Ross Miller, who lost a high-profile bid for attorney general in 2014, will run for Clark County Commission, Shannon reports.


OTHER REQUIRED READING

Former Secretary of State Ross Miller seeks post on Clark County Commission

Clark County Government Center

Former Democratic Secretary of State Ross Miller, who lost a high-profile bid for attorney general in 2014, is making a political comeback in a campaign for Clark County Commission.

Miller confirmed to The Nevada Independent on Tuesday that he will run for termed-out Commissioner Larry Brown’s District C seat. Other candidates seeking the seat include Democrat Hunter Cain, a former staffer for Rep. Dina Titus who was the first to announce his run for District C, followed by termed-out Las Vegas City Councilman and former Metro Police Captain Stavros Anthony and Fayyaz Raja, who is a member of the Clark County Asian-American Pacific Islanders Community Commission.

District C includes Sun City Summerlin to Cold Creek, Kyle Canyon, Mount Charleston, Calico Basin, Indian Springs and Creech Air Force Base.

Elected as secretary of state in 2006, Miller ran unsuccessfully against Republican Adam Laxalt for attorney general at the end his two-term limit in 2014. Prior to being elected secretary of state, Miller was a deputy district attorney for Clark County. He is the son of former Gov. Bob Miller.

Ross Miller, fourth from right and then running for attorney general, appears at a political rally with Bill Clinton and other Democratic candidates in Las Vegas on Oct. 28, 2014. Photo by Michelle Rindels.

Miller is seeking one of four available seats on the Democrat-controlled Clark County Commission in the 2020 election cycle.

Commissioners Brown and Lawrence Weekly (District D) are barred by term limits from running again. Terms on the commission are four years, and commissioners can serve up to 12 years.

Chairwoman Marilyn Kirkpatrick and Commissioner Michael Naft confirmed with The Nevada Independent that they will defend their seats. On Monday, Naft announced a staff of high-profile campaign operatives including John Anzalone, who had a hand in Gov. Steve Sisolak’s victory in the 2018 election and has done polling for the presidential campaigns of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

Naft’s announcement underscores how sought-after seats are on the commission, which has jurisdiction over the Las Vegas Strip. Kirkpatrick and Commissioner Tick Segerblom both left seats in the Legislature to serve on the powerful board, and Sisolak — who served on the commission from 2009 to 2019 — used it as a springboard to his current office. 

After serving as district director for Titus, Naft was appointed to District A in 2019 to serve the remainder of former Commissioner Sisolak’s term after he was elected governor. Kirkpatrick, who presides over District B, was elected to the commission in 2016 and elected chairwoman in 2019.

Competition is underway for Weekly’s District D seat, with four contenders known to The Nevada Independent. Assemblyman William McCurdy II announced a bid for the seat in August, followed by Clark County public information administrator Tanya Flanagan, state Sen. Mo Denis, who will run for the commission seat in the middle of his Senate term, and business owner Dillard A. Scott.

District D, where 57 percent of voters are registered Democrats, includes areas of Sunrise Manor, downtown Las Vegas and the North Las Vegas airport.

All candidates must file their intent to run with the Clark County Elections Department in the first two weeks of March. Primary elections will be held in June, followed by the general election in November 2020.

Terms limits, higher ambitions mean at least 11 open seats in the Legislature in 2020

The inside of the Nevada Legislature during State of the State

About a dozen seats in the Legislature will have no incumbent in the race in the 2020 election, setting the stage for some fierce competition when candidates formally file to run in March, according to an analysis from The Nevada Independent.

Five Assembly members are eschewing a bid for re-election and setting their eyes on higher office. That includes Democratic Assemblywoman Dina Neal, who’s seeking to replace appointed Sen. Marcia Washington in a heavily Democratic district that was held by ex-Senate Majority Leader Kelvin Atkinson before his resignation and conviction for misusing campaign funds.

Atkinson is currently serving a two-year sentence in a federal penitentiary in Atwater, California, near Merced.

Term limits, which cap a lawmaker’s service at 12 years in each chamber, will prevent Sen. David Parks and Sen. Joyce Woodhouse from re-election. Senate Democrats have endorsed Kristee Watson to replace Woodhouse, but Assembly Democratic colleagues Richard Carrillo and Ellen Spiegel will have to compete against each other for the opportunity to replace Parks.

Assemblyman William McCurdy II is running for the Clark County Commission seat now held by termed-out Commissioner Lawrence Weekly. But it’s not a straight shot — at least three other candidates want the seat, including North Las Vegas Councilman Isaac Barron, Clark County public information administrator Tanya Flanagan and Democratic Sen. Mo Denis.

Denis will have a soft landing if he doesn’t prevail. He’s halfway through a four-year Senate term and can return to the Senate if the commission election doesn’t work out.

Democratic Assemblyman Ozzie Fumo is passing up another go at the Assembly in favor of a bid for a Nevada Supreme Court seat. The terms of two of the seven justices on the high court will be ending just after the 2020 election.

Other incumbents who won’t be running for their seats include Republican Assemblyman John Hambrick, who is prevented by term limits from another bid. 

Democratic Assemblyman Greg Smith — who was appointed from a field of 15 hopefuls to finish the term of Assemblyman Mike Sprinkle when Sprinkle resigned amid sexual harassment allegations — said he won’t run. Smith cited the death of his wife, former state Sen. Debbie Smith, as a reminder that “life is short” and that he doesn’t want to run a campaign every two years. 

A seat held by Democratic Assemblyman Tyrone Thompson, who died unexpectedly in May at age 51 and was not replaced, is also open in 2020.

Three incumbents did not respond to multiple requests for comment from The Nevada Independent on whether they would seek re-election. They include Democratic Assembly members Steve Yeager, Heidi Swank and Bea Duran.

Twelve senators — including Denis — are mid-term and do not have to mount an election to maintain their current posts. All others whose terms are up confirmed directly to the Indy or through a public announcement that they would run for their current seats in 2020. 

It won’t be easy for all of them, especially lawmakers in some of the swingiest seats. Democratic Assemblywoman Lesley Cohen will have to defend her seat in a challenge from former Assemblyman Stephen Silberkraus.

Democratic Assemblywoman Shea Backus has at least two Republican challengers in her swing district, including former congressional candidate Michelle Mortenson and Andy Matthews, who played a key role in Republican Adam Laxalt’s unsuccessful bid for governor in 2018.

Democratic Assemblyman Skip Daly faces a challenge from Republican mental health practitioner Jake Wiskerchen in a district that he once won by a mere 38 votes.

And in the Senate, expect tough races in three swing districts: Senate Majority Leader Nicole Cannizzaro and Sen. Heidi Gansert have already launched campaigns to defend their seats. Watson and Republican Carrie Buck, a school principal who lost a close race in the district in 2016, are expected to run competitive campaigns for Woodhouse’s seat. 

Woodhouse isn’t about to make the race easy for Buck, who volunteered to replace Woodhouse had a Republican attempt to recall the senator in 2017 prevailed. Woodhouse released text messages to The Nevada Independent last week that Buck sent earlier this year trying to apologize for her role in the recall effort and asking for Woodhouse’s help applying for a state superintendent job.

Democrats have called the failed recall campaigns “careless and cynical attempts to undermine our Democratic process,” and Woodhouse called Buck’s texts “inappropriate” and “unseemly.” Buck, for her part, said the messages were a “peace offering” and said the retiring senator has a “vendetta.”

Sen. Mo Denis to face fellow lawmaker McCurdy in Clark County Commission race

Clark County Government Center

Democratic Sen. Mo Denis said he will file in March to run for termed-out Lawrence Weekly’s Clark County Commission seat, setting up a face-off with his Democratic colleague, Assemblyman William McCurdy II, who announced this summer that he would also be running.

Nevada Sen. Mo Denis

Denis, who is less than halfway through a four-year Senate term, confirmed his plan to The Nevada Independent via email on Wednesday.

By 2022, Denis will have served for the maximum 12 years in the Senate and moved up from assistant majority whip to the Senate’s first Hispanic majority leader in 2013. In the 2019 session, he was president pro tempore and chair of the Senate Education Committee.

He made news recently for sponsoring SB543, passed in June, which overhauled the state’s 50-year-old education funding formula.  

If Denis is successful in winning the seat representing heavily Democratic District D, his jurisdiction will include most of his current Senate District 2, which includes western Sunrise Manor and downtown, and expand westward to include North Las Vegas airport. Of the 110,000 active registered voters in District D, 57 percent are Democrats, 24 percent registered nonpartisan and 14 percent Republicans.

If his campaign is unsuccessful, Denis would be able to return to the Senate and serve the remainder of his term ending in 2022. Before serving on the Senate, Denis was an assemblyman from 2004 to 2010.

His opponent McCurdy, head of the state Democratic Party, announced his run for Commission District D on social media in August. During McCurdy’s four years in the Assembly, he has taken up criminal justice reform efforts, such as hosting a town hall earlier this year and attending protests for cash bail reform.

North Las Vegas Councilman Isaac Barron also announced in August that he would be running for District D, and Tanya Flanagan, a public information administrator for Clark County, announced in September that she would also seek the seat.

Updated at 10:45 a.m. on Oct. 25, 2019 to note Tanya Flanagan's candidacy.

Nevada Democrats to announce nearly 80 sites, including Culinary headquarters, to vote early in caucus

A desk and chair with Democratic party signs sitting on top.

Popular early voting sites and other locations aimed at reaching a broad cross section of voters — including members of the politically powerful Culinary Union — number among the nearly 80 places where Nevada Democrats will be able to vote early for their preferred presidential candidate in the February caucus.

An advance list of 15 early voting sites obtained by The Nevada Independent reveals the focus the party is putting on ensuring that communities of color and other underrepresented communities have access to the party’s first-ever early voting process for the caucus. The Nevada State Democratic Party released a full list of the early voting sites late Monday morning.

One early voting site will be at the Culinary Union Hall, which will make it easier for the 60,000 casino workers represented by the union to participate in the presidential candidate selection process. The party also plans to continue its tradition of offering at-large caucus sites on the Las Vegas Strip to make it easier for casino workers to participate on Caucus Day.

"Today for us is a historic day. We feel really really proud," said Geoconda Argüello-Kline, the secretary-treasurer of the Culinary Union. "To have the Culinary Union early voting site, that’s an amazing thing. We know how important it is when we vote."

Another early voting site will be at the Nevada State AFL-CIO headquarters.

Two early voting sites in East Las Vegas, Cardenas Market and the East Las Vegas Community Center, will make it easier for voters in the predominantly Latino neighborhood to participate in the caucus process, while placing locations at the Doolittle Community Center and Chinatown Plaza reveal the party’s attention to ensuring the representation of the black and Asian American and Pacific Islander voters, respectively, who live in those communities.

The party will also offer early voting at the Wadsworth Community Building on the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe's Reservation.

Nevada Democrats put forward their early voting proposal earlier this year in response to both an absentee voting mandate from the Democratic National Committee and to further the state’s long tradition of early voting during the traditional election process. In Nevada’s 2018 midterm elections, more than 550,000 people voted early, which represented nearly 57 percent of total ballots cast.

Democrats will be able to vote early at any of the sites between Feb. 15 and Feb. 18, which is the Saturday through Tuesday ahead of Caucus Day on Feb. 22. The party also plans to offer same-day voter registration at the early voting sites, similar to the process in place for the actual day of the caucus.

At the early voting sites, caucusgoers will be able to fill out a presidential preference card indicating their first-choice candidate and any other backup picks in case their preferred candidate doesn’t receive enough votes to be considered viable in the caucus. Those preferences will then be securely transmitted to the caucusgoers’ assigned home precincts for tabulation with same-day caucusgoers’ preferences on the day of the caucus.

Nevada State Democratic Party Chair Will McCurdy said in a statement that the party worked with community leaders to find early voting sites that “reflect our state and our party.”

“Part of our commitment to making next February our most accessible and expansive caucus yet involves giving voters every opportunity to make their voice heard and doing so in a way that is most convenient by introducing voting locations that have become a staple in their community,” McCurdy said.

The party will also have early voting sites in rural Nevada, including at the Dayton Senior Center, Eureka Opera House and West Wendover High School, and on college campuses, including at the UNLV Student Union and at Truckee Meadows Community College.

Other early voting sites include Veterans Village, the LGBTQ Center of Southern Nevada and Lucy Ethiopian Restaurant.

View the full list and map of early voting sites below: