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Buttigieg lights up Sparks on campaign trail

By Trevor Bexon
Published: Last Updated on

The lights stayed on this time around

With less than a week to go before Nevada Democrats hold their Presidential preference caucus, Pete Buttigieg brought his high energy campaign to a rally in Sparks on Sunday. A large sign that read “Vote Early” loomed over the crowd of 1,238 who gathered in the gymnasium of Sparks High School to hear the candidate’s message.

Buttigieg fired up the crowd with a campaign speech focused on why he is the candidate that can beat Donald Trump in the general election, and maintained the enthusiasm with a question and answer session moderated by West Sacramento’s Mayor, Christopher Cabaldon.

“I believe the purpose of the presidency is not the glorification of the president but the empowerment and unification of the American people to do these big things. That’s why I’m asking for your support,” Buttigieg told the crowd.

The former South Bend Indiana Mayor also reminded the northern Nevada crowd about his last visit to Sparks, which resulted in a power outage during the middle of his speech. Attendees that day slowly turned on their cell phone flashlights to light the room up while the mayor finished his speech.

Pete Buttigieg
Lights out during Pete Buttigieg’s September visit to Sparks.

That campaign moment has since made its way into ads for Buttigieg’s campaign and has provided a message for the campaign going forward.

“It’s a great indication of what it’s going to take to turn this country around—to light up a room, to light up a community, to light up this country,” Buttigieg told the crowd.

The lights stayed on for this visit, and the crowd size nearly doubled from that September rally to this February one, which is representative of Buttigieg’s campaign over the past several months.

Buttigieg has surged in polls across the country and has finished in the top two in Iowa and New Hampshire, giving him the current lead in needed delegates for the Democratic nomination. Buttigieg is hoping that a similar result occurs in Nevada, not only for more delegates but also for the momentum, donations and media attention that come with winning early nominating states.

“Here in Nevada, a state that famously thinks for itself and looks to the future,” Buttigieg said in reference to Saturday’s official caucus day, “I believe we have an opportunity for an historic result on Saturday that will propel us to a better future, with your help.”

“He’s good, he’s honest, he is himself. I’m very proud of him for going out there and not getting in the dirt and being so honest. It’s just amazing to watch his journey,” Debbie Kent said after watching Buttigieg speak.

Speaking to Veterans in Reno

The following day, Buttigieg brought his campaign to Reno to answer questions from a group of local veterans.

Buttigieg is a veteran that served in Afghanistan as a Lieutenant with the U.S. Navy.

At the event he spoke about resourcing the Department of Veterans Affairs and providing better communication through departments to better serve veterans; supporting military families through student loan repayment adjustments during frequent moves while providing safe schools and housing; and supporting programs in the communities that welcome service members home.

Buttigieg was scheduled to travel to Carson City, Elko, and Las Vegas for campaign events this week before appearing in the Nevada presidential debate hosted in Las Vegas on Wednesday night.

Early voting in the state’s Democratic caucus began on Saturday and ends today. Nevada Democrats will conduct a community caucus this Saturday, Feb. 22.

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