At a press conference Monday about his “Battle Born/Battleground” First in the West Caucus Countdown Dinner with Hillary Clinton, Martin O’Malley and Bernie Sanders, the Senate minority leader boasted about Nevada’s position of importance in the nation’s primaries and caucuses.
Nevada’s Democratic caucus is Feb. 20. The Silver State’s caucus will be the third, after Iowa’s caucuses and New Hampshire’s primary.
Reid pushed hard for the earlier position and took a verbal victory lap at the press conference over the achievement. Although Nevada was third in 2012, Reid said the caucuses weren’t as big of a deal then because President Barack Obama was running for re-election.
“We wanted a more diverse program for these candidates,” Reid said. “We needed something in the West and Nevada took care of that.”
Reid said one advantage of Nevada’s new place of prominence is that candidates have had to articulate their stance on the Yucca Mountain Project, a plan to store the nation’s high-level nuclear waste in a repository about 100 miles north of Las Vegas.