Story by Don Dike-Anukam | Images by Eric Marks
U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) returned to northern Nevada Friday fresh off her third-place return in New Hampshire on Tuesday.
The rally, originally slated for The Grove in south Reno, was moved at the last minute to the Boys & Girls Club’s Donald J. Carano facility in the center of town to accommodate a much larger crowd of attendees. Campaign staff stopped taking sign-ins at around 600 people, and an estimated 1,000 were in the audience by about 2:15 p.m. when Sen. Klobuchar walked on stage.
This was the second visit to Reno for Sen. Klobuchar during the 2020 presidential race. Her first event was in early January at Sundance Books where just 300 turned out to hear her speak.
“I just wanted to see what Amy is all about,” said Cheryl (no last name provided) before the rally began. “I’m encouraged by her calmness and straightforwardness. And the fact that, you know, she hasn’t made some of the mistakes I think some of the other ones have.”
Our rule of law cannot tolerate four more years of a guy who thinks he’s above us.”
Over the course of nearly an hour, Sen. Klobuchar covered a range of issues and pressed the case of why she is best positioned to win a general election.
“I have gone through this. I’m one of two left from the Midwest, but I am the one that brings receipts. I have won every race, every place, every time. I have not just won by a little bit. I have won in all the rural congressional districts, Republican districts,” she said.
“I have won where the steelworkers are in Northern Minnesota, by a huge margin. I have won Michelle Bachmann’s district every single time!”
She covered many of the same talking points from January’s speech – affordable housing, her Minnesota upbringing, and her family – peppering in updates from recent events. She talked extensively on her multi-point plan for healthcare which includes a public option, challenging health insurance companies, and reinforcing the Affordable Care Act.
But she closed her speech with a new and direct pitch days ahead of the Nevada Democratic caucus.
“I only have eight days left. I spent two weeks of that past month in those impeachment hearings that were really important, but I was basically bolted to my desk. That made it harder for a bunch of us that were there. It did. But it was well worth it because we did the right thing.
“Our rule of law cannot tolerate four more years of a guy who thinks he’s above us…….We need your help. And I can tell you, if you’re on my side we will win. Thank you Reno. Thank you Nevada!”
Sarah Adler, former USDA Rural Development State Director and Klobuchar campaign volunteer, introduced the Senator before the speech. Afterward, she was energized.
“She can win. She can win. One of my personal passions is mental health, and she has the best plan for addiction, co-occurring disorders and mental health of any candidate. So, yep, bipartisan, productive, and she’s awesome.
“Oh, and my friend Colleen Landkamer, [who] was the [USDA] Minnesota State Director, 1,000 percent endorsed Amy, and I trust Colleen. Amy is a terrific leader. Terrific to her staff and will get the job done.”
A big surprise of the event was the appearance of Dr. Jill Derby, a former Nevada System of Higher Education Regent, former Nevada State Democratic Party chairwoman, and two-time candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives for Congressional District 2. She delivered a fiery speech attacking President Donald Trump on a series of issues from the impeachment to major foreign policy failures in Iraq, Iran, and the Middle East (an area of academic expertise for Derby).
Nevada State Assemblywoman and Majority Leader Teresa Benitez-Thompson was also part Sen. Klobuchar’s introductions.
Don Dike-Anukam is a Reno native attending college in northern Nevada. He has been involved in activist politics for 15 years on and off, and has been involved in multiple campaigns in multiple positions in that time. He also was a college radio political, news, and talk-show host covering a range of stories from hostage standoffs, fires, interviews, and public speeches.