Hispanic Caucus calls for Nevada to host first Democratic presidential primary

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus campaign arm on Wednesday called on Democrats to support Nevada’s application to host the first Democratic presidential primary in the country.

The plea comes after a midterm cycle in which Democrats successfully defended Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto’s seat and three House seats in the Silver State.

In a joint statement, Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.), chair of Bold PAC, the campaign arm, and Hispanic Caucus Chair Rep. Raul Ruiz (D-Calif.) said moving up Nevada’s primary will play to the party’s strengths.

“The midterm results in Nevada underscore exactly why elevating this diverse battleground state and showing a deeper commitment to hearing from Latinos and other diverse voters earlier in the Democratic primary calendar is so crucial for winning national elections,” said the lawmakers.

“Picking a president should start with a state that reflects our shared values of inclusion and embodies our rich diversity — particularly when it comes to some of the fastest growing voting blocs in the nation,” they added.

The Democratic National Committee’s Rules and Bylaws Committee is due to revisit the order of primaries and caucuses, with a decision expected in December.

Nevada’s Latino electorate has emerged as a key constituency for Democrats, especially after the 2020 Democratic caucuses, when Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) engineered a surprise win against President Biden by investing early in the Latino vote.

In general elections, the state’s Latinos have been at the center of statewide races since 2010, when then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D) turned to Hispanic voters to pull a comeback victory in a dismal year for Democrats.

Several Latino groups have previously called to move Nevada up in the calendar, which currently grants early attention to less diverse states like Iowa and New Hampshire.

Latino Victory, a Hispanic advocacy group, has been calling on Democrats to make the change for months.

In a statement Wednesday, Latino Victory CEO Nathalie Rayes said the Democratic Party has an opportunity to grant better representation to minority voters by moving up the Nevada contest.

“Few actions would have a bigger long-term impact on growing Latino political power and representation nationally than moving Nevada to be the first presidential primary,” said Rayes.

“On the other hand, elevating an even less diverse state like New Hampshire to replace Iowa as the first nominating contest would be a major step backwards and a blow to Latinos and other voters of color.”

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