Taylor Popielarz – February 24, 2019
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA — Senator Sherrod Brown received a warm welcome at his first event in Nevada on Saturday.
Inside the Culinary Workers Union hall just off the Las Vegas strip, Brown kicked off the third leg of his ‘Dignity of Work’ listening tour.
“He doesn’t just talk the talk, he walks the walk,” said D. Taylor, the president of Unite Here, as he introduced Brown.
Brown then introduced himself to the crowd — many who were hearing from him for the first time.
He called himself a “labor Democrat” and talked about everything from a $15 minimum wage to health care and immigration.
“I believe he’s sincere in his mission,” said Chad Neanover, a cook in Las Vegas who attended the event. “But right now we’re about a year and a half away. It’s way too early to really go any further than just keeping an ear out on what everyone’s saying.”
Brown’s second event brought him to a brewery in Henderson, Nevada, where the crowd seemed very fond of his wife, Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Connie Schultz.
The senator took questions ranging from foreign policy to guaranteed basic income, including from Cleveland, Ohio native Christina Karas.
“I think that the reason that Sherrod is such a strong presidential candidate is that he brings that realness, he understands what the issues that all of us face at home are, and he also has the experience in Washington and knows how to get things done,” said Karas, who moved to Nevada in 2013.
People in Nevada are still learning who Brown is. And if he decides to jump into the 2020 race, some locals told Spectrum that his ‘Dignity of Work’ message could resonate across the state — if he can stand out in such a crowded field.
“I know he’s gotten my attention,” said Betty Parker, who attended the brewery event. “But I’m going to see Cory Booker [Sunday] and Kamala Harris on Friday. So I’m just trying to make up my mind.”
Brown completed his one-day tour by taking part in a living room livestream discussion about wages and prescription drug prices with the media organization NowThis.
He left Nevada having made what seemed like a decent first impression — in a state where almost every voter said they’re not yet committed to a certain candidate.
“I think that somebody that is able to talk to each person and be able to see what their own personal story is and to connect with them, that person is going to be successful,” said Linda Cavazos, who also attended the brewery event.
“And do you think Senator Brown is on that path?” Spectrum Washington reporter Taylor Popielarz asked her.
“I think Senator Brown would have a very good chance,” she said.
Brown will finish his listening tour with a visit to South Carolina next weekend.