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Democratic presidential campaigns stop in Pahrump

Updated February 19, 2020 - 12:56 pm

Democratic caucus early voting brought out multiple campaigns to Pahrump. More than 26,000 made their way to early voting in Nevada, and Pahrump, through the weekend.

Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro, who has been backing the campaign for U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., made his way through Pahrump on Monday to a private gathering for Warren supporters. He spoke to more than a dozen supporters and media during the event at a private residence in Pahrump.

Castro said in an interview that Warren has “reached out to folks who are her competitors. She’s reached out to different communities, rural communities, people of different backgrounds, so I saw that she can actually bring our party together to defeat Donald Trump.”

Castro sees rural America as important for the 2020 race for Democrats but also for other reasons. He ended his presidential campaign in January.

“Here in Nevada, and generally, in my home state of Texas also, rural America is going to make a big difference to the outcome of this campaign,” Castro said. “But more importantly, as goes rural America, so does the entire country.”

Castro went on to say that that’s why Warren “has talked about investing in things like public hospitals in rural communities, in schools, in colleges and universities, in infrastructure, in broadband, in making sure that if you live in a small town or a rural community, including tribal communities, you have every bit as much opportunity as anybody that’s growing up in the big city. I respect that.”

Nevada is also an important state in the race, according to Castro, because we are the third state to open voting in the race.

“It’s also a state that represents the future of our country,” Castro said. “It’s growing. It has a diversifying economy. It is a diverse state, so it speaks to the America that we’re becoming in as important. In terms of the Democratic primary this year, Iowa was a mess. The AP still hasn’t called it. It feels like Nevada is the second state this year, instead of the third state. It’s made it that much more important.”

Sam Steyer, son of Tom Steyer, made his way to Pahrump as part of a bus tour across parts of the state.

“We spent the whole day in cities and towns of Nevada that are not Las Vegas and Reno because they’re really important, too,” Sam said on a large bus outside a home on Pahrump’s north end.

Sam spoke about the campaigns plans for rural Nevada in an interview with the Pahrump Valley Times.

“We’ve published a rural economic development plan, and there’s a few big components of that,” Sam said. “The first is what we call connection. There are many families that love where they live, but that we’re doing things in our infrastructure now that make it economically hard to stay there.”

Sam continued: “We want to invest over $100 billion in roads and broadband access, so that the industries of the 21st century are accessible in rural areas.”

In a Sunday phone interview, Tom Steyer spoke about his rural plan: “What we’ve talked about a lot is connectivity, the idea of connecting rural and urban America through, of course broadband, but also making sure the infrastructure is up to date in terms of roads and bridges, physical connection. Secondly, making sure that there is quality public schooling and health available to people in rural America.”

This plan would include addressing mental health and the opioid epidemic, he emphasized.

The Nevada Democratic caucus is on Feb. 22. Early voting ended Tuesday.

Early voting

Secretary of the Nye County Democrats, DeDe Kingston, said she was both surprised and pleased to see the turnout for early voting in Pahrump.

On Tuesday morning, at the Bob Ruud Community Center, Kingston, serving as a site volunteer, was organizing the check-in procedures and answering questions from those casting ballots.

“Last Saturday, we had a lot of early voters and had lines going around the building all day from the time we opened,” she said. “It was three to four deep around the building and some people waited three-and-a-half to four hours to vote. They did not leave until they voted. This is the first time in Nevada history we have had early voting.”

One person standing in line to vote was Lucille Piper, a 25-year resident of Pahrump.

“I would like to take a little bit of every one of the Democratic candidates and find one person that has it all, but that’s not going to happen,” she said. “I like the women candidates, because I would like to see a woman president for a change. I like Amy Klobuchar.”

Though Piper expressed her dislike for the current commander-in-chief, she believes President Trump may have the wherewithal to win a second term.

“I think we need to get as many Democrats in the Senate as we can because I have a feeling he’s going to get re-elected and I really fear it,” she said. “I have a feeling that somehow he’s going to get it again and if we don’t get a Democratic Senate, to go along with the Democratic House, he’s going to give us a lot more trouble for the next four years.”

Contact Interim Editor Jeffrey Meehan at jmeehan@pvtimes.com

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