The Casino Workers Union in Nevada is placing its support behind the Democrat Jacky Rosen to defeat the current Senator, Republican Dean Heller.
The union, which represents around 57,000 bartenders, housekeepers and similar staff at casinos in Las Vegas, has been urging its members to vote in the mid-term elections, as it could affect the outcome.
The CWU counts a lot of immigrants among its membership, and they traditionally lean toward the Democrat candidates.
The political scene in Nevada is highly nuanced. The casinos are significant donors to the politicians. Democrats have won key elections in the past thanks to the mobilization of casino workers who are unionized in the region.
Rosen is the first congresswomen to hail from the area of Las Vegas. She spoke to an animated crowd in advance of the vote at the organizing hall for the Culinary Union.
Heller did little mass public campaigning for himself, preferring to knock on doors along with his volunteers.
On the campaign trail
Rosen has been extremely popular so far this year. She is a former member of the union, as she worked for a short time one summer at Caesar’s Palace as a waitress. She called on the crowd to spread the message, saying: “Every knock you make is a knock for goodness in your community, and we’re going to do it.”
After this rallying call, many of the union members in attendance got to their feet and started chanting their support for her. They helped with the door-to-door campaign, leaving door hangers that were written in both Spanish and English, as well as giving details about the candidates on the ballot and what way they can place their votes.
The union has been busy this year. In the spring, 50,000 workers’ contracts expired, which This led to an authorized strike. All through the summer and fall, the various parties worked toward negotiating a deal. There is still a lot of fighting energy among the workers, who are leveraging this to support Rosen’s campaign.
Some of Rosen’s key policies revolve around pushing for a $15 minimum wage, measures on gun safety and protections to combat potential cuts in social security and Medicare.
Having someone who is sympathetic to the workers’ plight in Rosen has galvanized the union’s members to get out in droves to vote.
Heller, meanwhile, attended a rally in Reno alongside Ivanka Trump. He warned voters not to be complacent and to get out and vote for him. He acknowledged that the vote would come down to a narrow margin and that every vote would count.
A team of 2,000 volunteers is helping Heller, going door to door and ringing people, something he believes will make a significant difference.
Early pointers to the result
Early indications in the poll appears to show Rosen is the winner. This would see another Democrat replacing a Republican, in another low to the Trump administration. Nevada has long been a battleground state.
Heller conceded the race once Rosen appeared to be ahead with 49.7% of the vote, versus 46% for Heller. For the first time in the past nine elections he has contested, Heller rang his opponent to congratulate her.
Talking to a crowd following his concession, Heller said: “What her party was able to achieve — not just in my race, but all the way down that ballot. We’ve hit blue waves for a couple of cycles and as a party we are going to have to come back together and decide how we’re going to go forward in the future.”
He added that Rosen is his senator now and that he would help her in any way he can with the transition.
Rosen is 61 years old and has been in politics for just two years. She had no other political experience before being chosen to run for Congress when Senator Harry Reid retired a couple of years ago.
The CWU will be happy that its membership’s hard work has paid off and they got their woman into office.