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Buttigieg helps boost Dems in Nevada ahead of Election Day

Buttigieg
AP Photo/Gregory Bull
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Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, center, speaks in front of U.S. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., right, during a meeting with supporters, Monday, Nov. 7, 2022, in Henderson, Nev. Masto faces Republican candidate Adam Laxalt in Senate elections Nov. 8.

Even with only one day left before the election, politicians and civic leaders are coming to Nevada in last-minute attempts to influence voters. 

Pete Buttegieg is the U.S. Secretary of Transportation. Before that, he was the mayor of South Bend, Indiana and a presidential hopeful. We last talked to him during the presidential primaries in early 2020. 

And this week, he’s back in Nevada briefly pushing support for Democratic candidates. 

"The stakes couldn't be higher," he told KNPR producer Mike Prevatt on Monday. "I know sometimes, when there's not a presidential race going on, it doesn't get as much attention. But I can tell from the steps I've made on the ground that people understand how much this matters."

He said the issues facing Nevadans included abortion access, cost of living and the cost of prescription drugs. 

"Whether we're talking about social issues, or bread and butter issues, or just the general tide of extremism that I think has a lot of nonpartisan voters, and even some Republicans, thinking twice about the ticket this year. It's just a very, very high stakes midterm election."

Norms are eroding, Buttigieg said, including "basic ideas" like abiding by the results of an election or condemnation of violence.

"Unfortunately, a number of the candidates, certainly on the GOP side, have been flirting with rhetoric that leads to political violence [and] circulating conspiracy theories, even saying they will only accept the outcome of the election if they win, which is of course, not how democracy works," he said. 

The office of the Secretary of State is the most important in that democratic process. 

Regardless of party, Buttigieg said "if you have somebody in charge of elections, in charge of the Secretary of State's office, who's an election denier, or conspiracy theorist, or otherwise has shown themselves not to be committed to the basic elements of our democracy, that that's a huge problem."

One of the reasons he's campaigning for Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto was her approach on the Infrastructure Bill. 

"The result was a bipartisan outcome," he said. "We're in a season when most people thought you couldn't do anything in a bipartisan way in today's Washington. And I think that's going to be the way forward here, too. No easy answers, but much is going to depend on leadership."

Pete Buttigieg, U.S. Secretary of Transportation

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Mike has been a producer for State of Nevada since 2019. He produces — and occasionally hosts — segments covering entertainment, gaming & tourism, sports, health, Nevada’s marijuana industry, and other areas of Nevada life.
Kristen DeSilva (she/her) is the online editor for Nevada Public Radio. She oversees and writes State of Nevada’s online and social media content.