Las Vegas Sun

October 21, 2020

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Nevada Democrats hope to build on Biden’s big night


Carolyn Kaster / AP

Supportes cheer from their cars as Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden and his wife Jill Biden are seen on a huge monitor as fireworks light up the nigh sky on the fourth day of the Democratic National Convention, Thursday, Aug. 20, 2020, outside of the Chase Center in Wilmington, Del.

Joe Biden on Thursday accepted the Democratic nomination for president, vowing to be a leader for all Americans — and not just those who support him.

In Nevada, Democratic officials continued their praise of Biden, who they say will bring stability to the country after four turbulent years of President Donald Trump.

“What you see and saw over this week, and what you know and you’ve heard over the years, that sincerely is Joe Biden, and that’s who we need leading our country right now,” Nevada Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto said.

Cortez Masto is the chair of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, whose mission is to help more Democrats get elected to the U.S. Senate. 

The committee has long criticized the glacial pace that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, allows legislation to be taken up in that body. Many Democrats refer to the Senate as a “legislative graveyard.”

“The worst thing that we could possibly do is to put Joe in the White House and keep Mitch McConnell in the majority so that he can obstruct everything that we care about for our families,” Cortez Masto said.

Nevada Rep. Steven Horsford, who endorsed Biden ahead of the state Democratic caucuses, said that Democrats would need to “fight like never before.”

“Our national leadership has been misguided and full of empty promises,” Horsford said.

He criticized Trump’s handling of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, drawing attention to the number of deaths and the economic hit the country has taken. The most recent numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention count American deaths from COVID-19 at 158,262.

“He claimed it would disappear in days, that it was under control, that it was a Democratic hoax,” Horsford said. “But make no mistake, America is hurting because of the president’s ineptitude.”

State Assemblyman Edgar Flores, D-Las Vegas, said Trump has contributed to the country’s current polarization “from the very moment that Trump came down that escalator announcing his candidacy for president, he’s been fanning the fire of racism, hate, xenophobia.”

It’s a wound Biden says he will work to mend.

“Here and now I give you my word, if you entrust me with the presidency, I will draw on the best of us not the worst,” Biden said in his address. “I’ll be an ally of the light, not our darkness.”

It’s Trump’s turn next. The president, who abandoned plans to host his convention in North Carolina and in Florida, is expected to break tradition and accept his nomination from the White House lawn next week.

In the meantime, he’s seeking to take attention from Biden. Trump was continuing this week’s swing-state tour on Thursday with a stop near Biden’s birthplace of Scranton, Pa. While he is trying to stay on offense, the president has faced a series of distractions of his own this week, many of his own making.

Trump on Wednesday praised a conspiracy-theory group that believes the president’s political opponents support satanism and pedophilia. On Thursday, a federal judge ruled that prosecutors could access his long-hidden tax returns. Also Thursday, New York prosecutors announced the indictment of Steve Bannon, Trump’s former campaign manager and White House chief counsel, who was charged with fraud.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.