© 2024 KUNR
Illustration of rolling hills with occasional trees and a radio tower.
Serving Northern Nevada and the Eastern Sierra
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Stories from the KUNR newsroom and regional partners related to the 2022 elections

Bernie Sanders rallies in Reno and Las Vegas during early voting

With early voting underway in Nevada, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders rallied in Reno and Las Vegas on Friday, calling for supporters to elect Democrats to the U.S. House and Senate ahead of the November 8 election.

During his stop in Reno, Sanders was flanked by reproductive rights activists and regional labor unions. He called for raising the minimum wage, taxing the 1%, and softening the blow of inflation on working families.

The message was similar at his two stops in Las Vegas. His rally at the East Las Vegas Community Center began with a spirited performance by Mariachi Joya de Las Vegas High School.

High school students wearing red and white suits smile while playing various wind and brass instruments in front of a crowd, with some people clapping.
Lucia Starbuck
KUNR Public Radio
Mariachi Joya de Las Vegas High School performs at Sen. Bernie Sanders’ “Get Out The Vote” event at the East Las Vegas Community Center on Oct. 28, 2022, in Las Vegas.

Sanders emphasized that midterm elections aren’t “sexy,” but they’re crucial.

“It matters which political party controls the House and controls the Senate,” Sanders said.

Sanders won the Nevada Democratic caucus for the presidential nomination in 2020. He joins a growing list of political figures visiting the Silver State, including former President Donald Trump who recently rallied Republicans in rural Minden, Nevada, with a similar message.

“I dare say the future of this country, at this moment, is dependent on the outcome of this election. And as all of you know, Nevada is right in the center of that battle,” Sanders said. “There are about a half a dozen Senate seats that are very, very close. Nevada is one of them.”

He was referring to the competitive race between incumbent Senator Catherine Cortez Masto and her Republican challenger Adam Laxalt.

Many young people were in attendance, including University of Nevada, Las Vegas political science major Ketzia Jimenez. She says she got introduced to politics because of Sanders.

Ketzia Jimenez smiles for a photo outdoors. It’s sunny and there are palm trees behind her.
Lucia Starbuck
KUNR Public Radio
Las Vegas resident Ketzia Jimenez attended Sen. Bernie Sanders’ “Get Out The Vote” event at the East Las Vegas Community Center on Oct. 28, 2022, in Las Vegas.

“I think it’s really important he’s here because Nevada isn’t a blue state as much as we think it is; it’s very purple,” Jimenez said.

Jimenez will be casting a ballot for the first time, and there are a lot of issues important to her, many of which Sanders touched on.

“Environmental issues, climate change, education, K-12. College, I’m a college student, tuition, things like that, and immigration,” Jimenez said, “I’m first generation American, my parents are immigrants, a lot of my family are immigrants.”

Gloria Enriquez brought her 14-year-old daughter, Jennifer Soto, to the rally. Enriquez has included her in politics since she was two years old while volunteering for former President Barack Obama and Nevada Senator Harry Reid, who passed away last year.

Gloria Enriquez and Jennifer Soto smile for a photo in front of a burnt orange wall outdoors.
Lucia Starbuck
KUNR Public Radio
Las Vegas resident Gloria Enriquez brought her 14-year-old daughter, Jennifer Soto, to Sen. Bernie Sanders’ “Get Out The Vote” event at the East Las Vegas Community Center on Oct. 28, 2022, in Las Vegas.

“I want to make sure she stays passionate, and that her voice is heard, and that she sees the people that impacts. You know, we only count the votes, but we don’t see the faces, and I think that’s important,” Enriquez said.

Soto said the most important issues to her are education and immigration. She spends a lot of time talking about politics with her friends, even though they’re too young to vote.

“I wish I could so bad ‘cause there’s a lot I want to speak my mind out,” Soto said. “A lot of people also tell me, ‘You’re so young. What’s the point of you educating people?’ Even though I can’t legally vote, you know, it still makes a difference.”

Sanders isn’t the only one passing through Nevada to drum up support for Democrats. Former President Obama will also be in Las Vegas on Nov. 1, one week before Election Day.

KUNR’s Shelby Herbert contributed to this story. Herbert is a reporter for the Hitchcock Project for Visualizing Science, which is an initiative from the University of Nevada, Reno’s Reynolds School of Journalism.

This story was produced with assistance from the Public Media Journalists Association Editor Corps funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people.

Lucia Starbuck is an award-winning political journalist and the host of KUNR’s monthly show Purple Politics Nevada. She is passionate about reporting during election season, attending community events, and talking to people about the issues that matter most to them.
Related Content