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Politics Biden? Buttigieg? Klobuchar? Nevada’s Kingmaker Union Weighs in on Dems Ahead of Caucuses

02:15  14 february  2020
02:15  14 february  2020 Source:   usnews.com

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Klobuchar likely took some New Hampshire momentum from Buttigieg . “Tonight is about grit Sanders, 78, now heads to Nevada for that state’ s Feb. 22 caucuses where he has shown strength with Latino voters. But he faces pushback from the powerful Culinary Union in Nevada , which fears

But the Nevada caucuses , which take place a week from Saturday, could winnow Mr. Sanders’ s opposition. Mr. Biden had been his most formidable candidate in Nevada , at least The first-in-the-nation primary is underway as New Hampshire’ s voters weigh in on an unsettled Democratic field.

A highly coveted endorsement from one of the most powerful political influencers in Nevada is not going to any Democratic presidential contender, as the Culinary Union announced Thursday it would not endorse at all in the Democratic primary.

a group of people posing for the camera: LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - FEBRUARY 13:   Secretary-Treasurer for the Culinary Workers Union, Local 226, Geoconda Arguello-Kline (R) speaks as President for Culinary Workers Union, Local 226, Ted Pappageorge listens during an announcement February 13, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Union has decided not to endorse any Democratic Presidential candidates for the upcoming Nevada Caucus.   (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)© Alex Wong/Getty Images LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - FEBRUARY 13: Secretary-Treasurer for the Culinary Workers Union, Local 226, Geoconda Arguello-Kline (R) speaks as President for Culinary Workers Union, Local 226, Ted Pappageorge listens during an announcement February 13, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Union has decided not to endorse any Democratic Presidential candidates for the upcoming Nevada Caucus. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

"We are going to endorse our goals," Geoconda Arguello-Kline, the union's secretary-treasurer said at a news conference in Las Vegas. That, she said, includes good health care, an economy that does not require people to work more than one job and a nation welcome to immigrants.

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Joe Biden . Bernie Sanders. Amy Klobuchar . These caucuses were the first nominating contest in the Democratic Party primaries for the 2020 In late August 2019, the DNC ordered both the Iowa and Nevada Democratic state parties to scrap their plans for "virtual caucuses " due to security concerns

Thus, her campaign in Nevada and South Carolina is going to have to start at square one. Neither of these moderates has the kind of union or elected officials endorsements to give them a The second problem is that both Buttigieg and Klobuchar have serious diversity problems in their electoral bases.

The union, which represents 60,000 casino and hospitality workers in Las Vegas and Reno, has enormous influence in Nevada, and contenders hoped for a boost that could give them an edge in the Silver State's Feb. 22 caucuses. But the union declined to choose, emblematic of a race which is still unsettled and lacks a breakaway leader.

Arguello-Kline mentioned only one candidate by name as she explained the decision: former Vice President Joe Biden, whom she noted they have known for many years.

"He's been our friend," she said. She did not describe any other candidate by name, except when declining to weigh in on a spat the group has been having with Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

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“I think obviously with both Buttigieg and Klobuchar doing better than expectations, all three of those come out of New Hampshire with a lot of momentum.” Candidates will next focus on the western state of Nevada where they will hold a debate next week ahead of the February 22 caucuses there, and

You betcha Amy Klobuchar went after Pete Buttigieg ! Photo: ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images. For a while, the sixth Democratic presidential debate in Los Angeles looked like one of those rare events when all the candidates sounded solid and substantive but didn’t mix it up much.

"We respect Sen. Sanders" and invited him to visit the union headquarters and 24/7 health care clinic, she said in response to a question. She declined to discuss recent conflicts from the union's rejection of "Medicare for All," Sanders' signature issue.

Earlier this week, the union created a scorecard for the candidates, in English and in Spanish, that had Sanders listed as wanting to eliminate "Culinary Care." That refers to a hard-fought, generous union health care plan that provides a wide range of care, including a union clinic and two pharmacies, at little or no cost.

Sanders supporters, Arguello-Kline said Wednesday, "viciously attacked" the union through social media, email and phone calls, "simply because our union has provided facts on what certain health care proposals might do to take away the system of care we have built over eight decades."

That led to speculation that Sanders, who won the New Hampshire primary and placed a close second in Iowa, might get hit with a momentum-slowing endorsement of another candidate in the race. He was spared that, but the scorecard makes clear the Culinary Union is not a fan of his health care plan.

"We gave all the information to the members. We put them in a scorecard," Arguello-Kline said.

The lack of an endorsement is reflective of the Democratic primary process as a whole this year. Polls in both Iowa and New Hampshire showed that many voters – nearly 40%, in New Hampshire – were either undecided or wavering even a day before their respective elections.

Endorsing now would have been tricky for the Culinary Union, especially if the preferred candidate dropped out of the race soon after the Nevada caucuses.

Biden is scheduled to visit the Culinary Academy on Sunday, but that does not equal a statement of support, a union spokeswoman said.

Copyright 2020 U.S. News & World Report

'We’re going to take this back': Joe Biden spins Nevada finish ahead of must-win South Carolina .
Joe Biden seems to have temporarily stemmed the bloodletting of his 2020 Democratic presidential campaign in Nevada, but it's unclear what will happen in South Carolina next week and beyond. © Provided by Washington Examiner Biden, 77, received 19% of Nevada's county convention delegates in Saturday's afternoon caucuses, with 4% of precincts reporting. Though the final vote tally and national delegate count are yet to be finalized, that performance puts him in second place well behind Nevada winner and 2020 front-runner Bernie Sanders, 78, with 45%.

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