LAS VEGAS The most powerful union in labor-heavy Nevada announced Thursday that it wont endorse a candidate before the Feb. 22 caucuses.
Thats a blow to Joe Biden, whod hoped for their endorsement. And its a sign that in spite of the unions dislike of Bernie Sanders Medicare for All plan, it couldnt get on the same page to push a single-payer alternative option.
Were not going to endorse a candidate, Culinary Workers Union Local 226 Secretary-Treasurer Geoconda Argüello-Kline announced in a Thursday-afternoon press conference in front of the unions Las Vegas offices.
This is the latest sign that a crowded lane for moderate Democrats is stymying efforts for those who want to stop Sanders from the nomination.
The 60,000-member union is one of the most powerful locals in the country and the main cog in Nevadas Democratic machine. It has been gradually increasing attacks on Sanders over the past days but its decision not to endorse may make it even harder for anti-Sanders Democrats to coalesce in time to stop him ahead of the Feb. 22 Nevada Democratic Caucuses.
But just because it isnt picking a horse doesnt mean the union wont cause some major headaches for Sanders.
The union has already posted flyers in hotels and other work sites across Las Vegas and Reno warning that Sanders Medicare for All plan would end Culinary Healthcare, just days after another flyer warned that the Medicare for All plan backed by Sanders and Elizabeth Warren would force millions of hard working people to give up their healthcare, create unnecessary division between workers, and give us four more years of Trump.
It looked for some time like the union would back Biden, who has their former political director, Nevada state Sen. Yvanna Cancela (D), on staff. But after Bidens disastrous showings in Iowa and New Hampshire its unclear how viable hell be in Nevada.
Its unclear how much damage the union can do to Sanders, however, especially if it isnt trying to rally its workers around a single alternative. The union backed Obama in the state in 2008 but he ended up losing the caucuses to Hillary Clinton. In 2016 the union never officially endorsed but worked quietly to help Clinton grind out a win over Sanders, much to the consternation of Sanders backers.
Cover: Democratic presidential candidate, former Vice President Joe Biden, speaks at a campaign event in Columbia, S.C., Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)