Sanders Wins More State Convention Delegates In Nevada Than Clinton

Apr 3, 2016

Even though presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton won the Nevada caucuses back in February, Bernie Sanders secured more delegates for the upcoming state convention because more of his supporters showed up to Democratic county conventions over the weekend.

That includes Washoe County, where Democrats elected 350 delegates for Sanders compared to Clinton's 275. It happened on Saturday during the party's county convention in Reno. Our News Director Michelle Billman was there and has more.

 

Note: The delegate selection process is Nevada is, well, complicated, so don't miss our interview breaking it down.

The Lawlor Events Center at the University of Nevada, Reno was crowded with about 2,000 Washoe Democrats, many waving signs and sporting T-shirts for their nominee of choice.

Delegate and Sparks resident Deidre Beirle was there for Hillary Clinton.

"It would be nice to have somebody that understands women's issues like birth control and abortion and control over our own bodies and being equal and getting paid equal," Beirle says, "and they're not just a man supporting it from an intellectual, 'Oh, of course,' but that they've actually been there.

Beirle says she'll support Bernie Sanders if he wins the Democratic nomination but that his plans for expanding access to education and healthcare don't seem realistic in this political climate. 

Reno resident and UNR Journalism Professor Sheila Peuchaud is a delegate for Sanders and disagrees.

"You know, I've lived in a lot of different countries that have managed to make things like this work," Peuchaud explains. "You know, in places like Western Europe the things that he's talking about are just taken, not for granted, but taken as just the natural role that the state should play in making sure that people are going to be OK."

Despite all the attention on the presidential race, Washoe DEMS Executive Director Pam duPre says the smaller races are also critical this time around.

"I think Democrats learned in 2014 the dire consequences of too many Democrats staying home on Election Day," DuPre says. "Republicans took over the legislature and some of them proposed some of the most right-wing extremist type of legislation we've seen in a very long time. We cannot let that happen."

Throughout the day, a slew of state and local candidates made their pitches, including all three Democrats running for Representative Mark Amodei's seat in Northern Nevada. Catherine Cortez Masto spoke as well; she's hoping to replace Senator Harry Reid.

"And I will tell you what," Masto told the crowd, "Nevada is the pathway for the Democrats to take back the majority in the Senate, and if we don't show up, we're never going to do that."

There are more than a dozen people in that race, most notably Representative Dr. Joe Heck and conservative candidate Sharron Angle.

With this weekend's county convention behind them, the 625 Democratic delegates now head to the state convention in Las Vegas this May. From there, the pool will be winnowed down for the national convention in July.