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Nevada Democrats call for first spot in Primary Election calendar

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Posted at 9:47 PM, Nov 18, 2022

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — All of Nevada's Democratic congressional delegation, in a joint statement, called on the Democratic National Committee to put Nevada's Primary Election first on the calendar in coming years.

The DNC has said competitiveness and diversity of voter base, something Nevada has in spades, would be key to a state taking the first in the nation.

Eric Jeng, Deputy Director of non-partisan Asian political organizer One APIA Nevada, said he knows the Silver State has been critical for candidates from both parties with their eyes set on taking the White House.

"I'm standing here in the heart of Asiatown, where just two years ago, I believe, the Democratic candidates all came here," he said.

Democrat attention could become more laser-focused on Nevada, according to UNLV Associate Professor of Political Science Dan Lee, and he believed the state has a good shot at taking the spot.

"Nevada has a good shot because of the diversity of the state," Lee said.

Lee said Nevada taking the first spot would give it incredible power to set the tone for the primary as early winners gain momentum and fundraising prowess moving forward.

He said that would be even more true of diverse Nevada than Iowa and New Hampshire, the two states ahead of Nevada in Democrat primaries, as the overwhelmingly white populations of the latter states aren't representative of the rest of the country.

Lee said Nevada, as a battleground state, could also give momentum to more nationally liked candidates.

"The reason why you wouldn't have California go first is they might nominate someone that's too liberal to win a nationwide election," he said.

The professor said a wide field of Democratic candidates appealing to minority communities early in a race could translate to legitimate attention to, and change for, traditionally under-served regions.

Jeng said he hoped that would actually translate to action.

"We don't just want candidates or parties or campaigns to check a box, to have a candidate drinking Boba, or a candidate having photo ops with community leaders or in the arch of Chinatown, but, because of how valuable the vote is, both parties can't take it for granted," he said.

Lee said the one thing that could derail a Nevada-first primary is the extended time it has taken to finalize the results post-election as a candidate can't gain momentum if it takes several days to determine a winner.

The DNC is slated to meet on Dec. 1 to discuss the primary calendar.