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Nevada AAPI voters being courted by Democrats and Republicans

Posted: 7:25 PM, Jan 25, 2020
Updated: 2020-01-31 02:07:37-05
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LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — It’s a very busy weekend for politics with major presidential campaigns in town. Many of them reaching out to the local Asian American-Pacific Islander community.

Expect to see more campaign signs around Las Vegas in languages like Mandarin and Tagalog, with the Nevada caucus less than a month away.

“Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are paying attention and listening to what the politicians are saying.”

Roger Lau is the campaign manager for the Elizabeth warren campaign and, the first Asian American manager for a major candidate. He says the Democratic Party is appealing for AAPI voters.

“They have health care issues they have to deal with. They have educational concerns. They want to make sure we have childcare,” Lau said.

The Warren campaign has set up an office in Chinatown, much like the Andrew Yang campaign.
At the spring festival in downtown, there were also booths from the Buttigieg and Sanders campaigns. Lau says AAPI outreach is important.

“We want to make sure we’re meeting people where we’re at. That’s why we’ve been making a huge investment here in Nevada and Las Vegas, making sure we had staff on the ground,” he said.

The number of AAPI Nevadans grew by 167 percent since 2000, and now make up about ten percent of the state’s population, the fastest growing minority group. Nationally a majority of AAPI voters supported democratic candidates in the 2018 election, but local Republicans say they’re appealing to the same voters through shared values.

“Asian Americans are naturally aligned in their values in terms of hard work and education and basically standing up on our own two feet.”

Pauline Lee is the president of the Nevada Republican Club, and says their outreach has also ramped up.

“We’ve done that already with five roundtables with the AAPI business leadership. We intend to do two more,” she said.

Lee says president trump’s handling of the economy, have helped AAPI business owners.

“You know the tax cuts have really helped our Asian American, Pacific Islander business leaders, because they really want to take the money they save and invest it back into the business,” she said.

The fight for these voters will continue into the general election for both sides.

“I think our community is ready to engage and they’re excited and want to be part of the process,” Lau said.