Fallon hosts rural Democratic caucus | NevadaAppeal.com

Fallon hosts rural Democratic caucus

Special to the LVN

More than 70 people gathered at Fallon's Wolf Center on Saturday to celebrate rural Democratic values.

The Rural Nevada Democratic Caucus sponsored the event with speakers, candidates and food

The first speaker was Nevada State Sen. Pat Spearman, representing District 1. Her 29 years in the U.S. Army Military Police Corps were evidenced through her firm speaking style and her passion for serving our state and country. She emphasized how important it is for Democrats to register people to vote and then to get out the vote including in midterms. As she said, Democrats need "all hands on deck."

Spearman said true democracy means free and fair elections, with equality for everyone. To win, she said Democrats need to be united, and she illustrated this with a group of people in front of her holding up signs that spelled U-N-I-T-E-D. Democrats need to elect people. She said, who "believe in working hard for working people," making sure no one gets left out.

Former State Treasurer Kate Marshall, who is running for lieutenant governor, spoke next. The lieutenant governor's main role is in economic development and she described the "Canopy of Hope" that gives others the aspiration for a better life. She described how the "Canopy of Hope" shrank during the Great Recession, leading to diminished expectations for too many people.

The "Canopy of Hope" can be restored.

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"To have an affordable life, you must have an accountable government," she adding that all people need to be working toward that.

Alex Goff, current chair of the RNDC, spoke after lunch and introduced several officers from the rural Democratic Central Committees including Churchill County Democratic Chair Nyla Howell and Kimi Cole, Douglas County Democratic Central Committee chair and first vice-chair of the RNDC. "Our primary goal for this event was to bring attention to rural counties and highlight the fact that although our needs and challenges may be different from those in urban areas, our needs and concerns are every bit as important as, and should be addressed with the same consideration as those in higher population centers," Cole said ."Our voices matter ‑ we want state and national leaders to understand that and show that they are willing to directly engage in our communities and conscientiously address our needs."

Cole then introduced several candidates for office, who spoke briefly about what they would like to accomplish if elected.

Catherine Byrne, a certified public accountant running for state controller, spoke first. Then three candidates for Congressional District 2 each offered comments: Clint Koble, Rick Shepherd and Dr. Vance Alm. Each explained why he is running and what he would advocate if elected. The next speaker was Bobby Mahendra, candidate for the U.S. Senate. Patricia Ackerman, candidate for State Assembly District 39, spoke last.

Alex Goff then introduced Assemblyman William McCurdy II, chair of the Nevada State Democratic Party. McCurdy thanked all those attending, saying the group needs to support of all Nevadans to accomplish our goals.

The next speaker, Assemblyman Nelson Araujo, Assistant Majority Floor leader, is running for Nevada Secretary of State. He said his goal is to protect the voting rights of all Nevadans, especially since the current Secretary of State, Republican Barbara Cegavske, turned over some voter information to President Donald Trump's Voter Commission.

Forty-four other states have refused to turn over any of this sensitive information, a decision with which Araujo agrees.

Jason Kander, former Secretary of State for Missouri, is a retired intelligence officer in the Army National Guard who served in Iraq and founder of "Let America Vote." He founded this organization to oppose voter suppression and gerrymandering.

Kander said that Democrats must be clear about what they want to do. What we want to do is better for everybody than what Republicans want to do. One example is fight to make health care a right for everyone, not a privilege for the few.

He said no argument matters, however, if people lose their right to vote. He outlined the three steps to voter suppression: Undermine faith in American democracy, put up barriers to voting such as hard-to-obtain identification requirements and put up barriers to these barriers, making it even more difficult for people to vote.

"Let America Vote" will be working during the 2018 election in several states, including Nevada, to help overcome these obstacles.

Kander concluded by saying patriotism should be making this a country where everyone wants to salute the flag, not a country where people are forced to salute. He said the Democrats can make this a united country, if they all work together. He added this should be the goal of all Americans.

The evening ended with a raffle and a silent auction.

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