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While Nevada candidates file for upcoming election, others focus on big changes for 2024

Election 2022 Nevada
Jeff Scheid/Nevada Independent via AP, Pool

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak files for reelection at the Secretary of State's office in North Las Vegas on Monday, March, 7, 2022.

It’s election season and candidates across the state are filing paperwork to appear on June’s primary ballot.

But while they’re focused on midterm elections this fall, others are looking ahead to some potentially big changes in the presidential race in 2024.

During a Democratic National Committee meeting in Washington last week, party officials talked about a proposal that could put Nevada first in line during the presidential primary cycle. This would follow a law signed by Governor Steve Sisolak in 2021 that put Nevada number one in the Democratic primary, but of course, that needs national party approval.

Making Nevada first would also fall in line with an argument that the racial makeup of first two nominating states, Iowa and New Hampshire, aren’t reflective of the country. But Nevada, which is currently third to vote in the primary cycle, is.

Here are some of the comparisons:

  • Iowa is 90% white versus 48% in Nevada, while it’s 60% in the entire country.
  • Iowa is about 6% Latino or Hispanic while Nevada is 30%, and the entire country is 18%.
  • Iowa is 4% Black while Nevada is 9%, and the rest of the country is 12%.
  • And Iowa is 2% Asian or Pacific Islander, while Nevada is 9% and the country is 6%.

"Nevada certainly has a strong case," says Alex Goff, Nevada's representative on the Democratic National Committee. "I think that what we deserve is a primary process that starts with a state that can answer a fundamental question, can a presidential candidate put together a winning coalition, and frankly, Nevada is the only state that can provide that proving ground, and I believe has earned the right to kick off its nominating process."
Goff said having a candidate be able to prove their position with the party in Nevada will be more valuable across the nation, rather than in starting in less diverse states.

"I really think that if you want to win Nevada, you have to be able to compete on a different number of different playing fields. You have to be able to reach people on mass media, on television, you have to do that retail politics, where you're knocking on doors, talking to voters where they're at," he said.

Alex Goff, Democratic Nation committeeman, candidate for Assembly District 25 in Washoe County; Mark Robison, local government reporter, Reno Gazette-Journal; Steve Sebelius, politics and government editor, Las Vegas Review-Journal

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Paul serves as KNPR's producer and reporter in Northern Nevada. Based in Reno, Paul specializes in covering state government and the legislature.