Obama opens Carson City campaign office | NevadaAppeal.com

Obama opens Carson City campaign office

Kevin Clifford/Nevada Appeal Assemblywoman Sheila Leslie, D-Reno, talks during the opening of the Barack Obama office on West Winnie Lane on Saturday.

Senator Barack Obama on Saturday became the first mainstream presidential candidate to open a Carson City office in preparation for the 2008 election.

In fact, said Assemblywoman Sheila Leslie, “As far as we know, this is the very first presidential candidate office ever in Carson City.”

Leslie, who has endorsed Obama, told a crowd of more than two dozen supporters she was impressed by the Illinois senator’s strong convictions – especially his stance on the Iraq War.

“Five years ago, he had the courage, had the judgment, to vote against it,” she said. “That’s the main reason I signed on. He is the leader we need to bring our troops home as soon as possible.”

Nevada Field Director for Obama Mike Moffo said the Carson office at 172 W. Winnie Lane is the campaign’s seventh office in the state, which he said is the broadest commitment by any of those running in Nevada. He said campaign staff and volunteers are already working to build support in the capital.

“We did our first door-to-door canvassing in Carson this morning,” he said. “We’ll be phone-banking and we’re doing house meetings all the time.”

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Moffo said Obama now has more than 50 staff and hundreds of volunteers working in Nevada.

“We are covering every precinct in the state,” he said.

Leslie said the campaign is dedicated to grassroots campaigning.

“That’s the only way you win,” she said. “Knocking on doors.”

Moffo also said Obama will make his second trip to Northern Nevada this week, addressing an audience at the Grand Sierra Resort on Thursday.

Obama was in Carson City during the 2007 Legislature, addressing a crowd at Comma Coffee across the street from the legislative building.

Moffo said the office in a storefront behind the Panithias Grill restaurant will provide a space were people can congregate, discuss the issues and work on the campaign.

Most of those who turned out for the opening signed pledges to work for Obama in the January Nevada caucuses. Moffo said the caucuses are “a big deal” because it’s the first time Nevada has held them. He said that the nationally known Iowa caucuses were actually begun in part to heighten Democratic support for efforts to get the United States out of another unpopular war – Vietnam.

Leslie said Obama’s Carson City office might also encourage other candidates to do the same, increasing the capital’s prominence in the upcoming election cycle.

• Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at gdornan@nevadaappeal.com or 687-8750.