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Democrats rally
by Joshua H. Silavent
Jan 22, 2012 | 1267 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
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Allison and Kevin Edwards of Sparks, with their son Asher, 3, participated in the Democratic Caucus held at Mendive Middle School Saturday morning. In 2008, Allison and Kevin were precinct captains.
SPARKS — More than 12,000 Nevada voters turned out for the Democratic Caucus on Saturday in a sort of rally-the-troops campaign to show support for President Barack Obama in this year’s election.

While much of the nation’s political attention was focused on the GOP primary in South Carolina, Silver State Democrats turned out at schools, libraries and churches from Reno to Las Vegas.

Volunteers gathered at 118 locations and 1,553 precincts statewide.

Several dozen Obama supporters caucused at Mendive Middle School in Sparks, where state Assemblywoman Debbie Smith (D-Sparks) led the charge.

“It’s sort of an energizing moment,” she said of Saturday’s caucus. “We’re more organized than ever.”

Fran Harris, who works for the Washoe County School District, attended the caucus to learn more about the process and catch up on the hot-button political issues of the day.

“Sometimes I’m too busy with other things,” she said. “But the closer (the election) gets, I’ll keep a closer eye.”

Chris Cochran, a tax preparer, also was in attendance.

He said he supports Obama but that sometimes he takes a lesser-of-two-evils approach to politics.

“It’s more of not being a Republican,” he said.

Economic issues, such as the growing gap between the rich and poor and the perceived dissolution of America’s middle class, were most important to Cochran.

Obama won the state in 2008 and many believe Nevada is a proverbial ‘swing state’ in 2012.

“I think everyone has identified Nevada as a battleground state,” Smith said.

Cochran agreed.

“I think it will be very close again,” he said.

Since the launch of Obama’s re-election campaign in April, Nevada State Democratic Party staff and volunteers have held over 1,500 trainings, planning sessions, house parties and phone banks. Additionally, they’ve made over 522,000 calls to supporters, held over 4,000 one-on-one meetings and opened three offices in Las Vegas, Reno and Henderson.

On Saturday, caucus-goers also elected 44 delegates to the Democratic National Convention in September in Charlotte, N.C.

Meanwhile, the Nevada Republican Party will hold its statewide caucuses on Feb. 4.
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