Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Big Win For Ruben Kihuen In Nevada's 4th Congressional District


It was painful finding ourselves allied with crooked Nevada machine boss Harry Reid against our usual progressive allies. But there was no doubt that in Nevada's 4th congressional district-- despite endorsements from Reid and Bill Clinton-- state Senator Ruben was the best candidate to go up against Republican incumbent Cresent Hardy. Blue America endorsed him almost a year ago with great enthusiasm, even though Bernie, DFA, MoveOn, PCCC, etc all backed Lucy Flores. (For the record, we did add Lucy-- a good candidate-- to our Bernie Congress page and 302 Blue America members contributed $1,721.73 to her campaign.)

We never had any doubt that Ruben was the more solid progressive and the more talented political leader. Any doubts I had in my mind-- because of the Reid connection and because of Bernie's backing on Lucy-- were dispelled when Ruben visited me at my home and discussed the issues that have motivated him for his entire career. In him I didn't just see a guy who would vote correctly-- as Lucy would as well-- but a born leader who could develop and pass legislation, the way people like Alan Grayson and Pramila Jayapal can.

I appreciated that Lucy endorsed Bernie, but-- at least in my mind-- that didn't make her the better candidate. Records matter. Her's is good but sketchy and incomplete. Ruben's is stellar, exactly what Congress needs. A progressivish member of Congress called me and told me Blue America was making a mistake in backing Ruben and that Lucy was the way to go. His rationale was flimsy and unconvincing. Tuesday Democratic voters in Nevada's 4th congressional district went overwhelmingly for Ruben. In an 8 person race, he came in first with 39.95% of the vote. His two closest rivals were Lucy with 25.66% and the wealthy socialite establishment shill, Susie Lee-- a quintessential EMILY's List candidate, of course-- with 20.94%.

As of the May 25 FEC filing deadline, Susie Lee had raised (and self-funded) the most, $1,288,805, while, because of Bernie's backing, Lucy came in second with $985,939 and Ruben was third with $941,683. That Ruben was backed by every union in the state, made up for the short fall. In fact, labor spent $250,918 on behalf of Ruben (almost making up for the $323,331 in self-funding from Susie Lee). The DCCC actually stayed neutral in the race, probably because they wanted Susie Lee to win but knew Ruben would and feared Reid if they backed Lee. I'm sure they will endorse Ruben immediately. The Congressional Progressive Caucus should too. Voter turnout was low Tuesday. In the 4th district, around 30,000 Democrats voted and around 24,000 Republicans. It's worth mentioning that there was a much bigger Hispanic turnout than expected-- thanks, primarily, to SeƱor Trump and his hateful, reactionary messages. Nevada is one state the GOP can kiss buh-bye this year. If you want to see Ruben defeat Cresent Hardy in November, please consider contributing to his campaign by tapping on the Blue America thermometer below:
Goal Thermometer

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