by Humberto Sanchez, The Nevada Independent, March 24, 2022
As the Democratic National Committee (DNC) considers a draft proposal to change its presidential nominating calendar, Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-NV) sees a case for Nevada to move its contest from ‘first in the west’ to ‘first in the nation.’
The DNC’s Rules and Bylaws Committee is circulating a draft proposal to overhaul the calendar and set criteria for up to five states to hold early contests, according to documents obtained by The Nevada Independent. The new criteria would favor states with racially diverse populations and high levels of union representation, among other factors. That could help Nevada.
“It’s important that we think more dynamically about having the first primary be in Nevada,” Rosen said in a brief interview earlier this week. “We’re diverse. We’re a battleground state that matters to who becomes the next president.”
Rosen spoke to the DNC two weeks ago and underscored the state’s ethnic and racial diversity, which more reflects the nation than Iowa, which has held the nation’s first presidential primary for both major political parties since 1972.
Others involved in the effort, pointed the late Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV), who pushed for the move in 2020. That includes Rebecca Lambe, a longtime Democratic operative in the state, Reid’s longtime political advisor and architect of Reid political machine. Lambe also helped lead the effort to make Nevada an early state in 2006.
“Senator Reid is the reason Nevada became an early state, and he was tireless in making the case that we should be first in the nation because our diversity, our strong union representation, our battleground status, and our commitment to voter access matches the party’s values,” Lambe said via text. “He would be incredibly proud of the effort from Senator Rosen, Nevada’s congressional delegation, and Democratic leaders across the state to make this a reality in 2024.”
Artie Blanco, who represents Nevada on the DNC committee, was also upbeat about the state’s chances.
“As a battleground state with strong union representation and a uniquely diverse electorate, Nevada offers presidential contenders the ability to prove they can put together a winning coalition,” Blanco said in an email. “And, because Nevada has spent the last decade expanding access to voting in a secure, fair and inclusive manner, voters won’t have to jump through obscure hoops or overcome suppression tactics in order to make their voice heard.”
The committee will next meet Monday. The proposal is silent on whether the five states would hold their contests on the same day, à la Super Tuesday, or on different days.
Under the plan, a state’s ethnic diversity would play a greater role in determining which states hold contests early in the year.
The Des Moines Register first reported on the proposal.
To hammer home her argument for Nevada, Rosen appeared at the DNC with a handout created by former Reid staffers that included statistics showing that Nevada ranks third in the country in diversity, based on the Census Bureau’s 2020 diversity index. A copy of the handout was obtained by The Nevada Independent.