The gamble paid off on Saturday night in Nevada for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton when in a last minute push for votes she worked Las Vegas union workers.
According to the Nevada Democratic Party, Clinton won at six Clark County caucus locations held at Las Vegas hotels connected to casinos including Rio, New York New York, Caesars Palace, Paris and Harrah’s, as reported by ABC News.
It came down to the final week before the caucuses were held, when Clinton made multiple trips to Harrah’s and Caesars Palace. She even made a middle-of-the-night venture on Thursday, when she visited the employee quarters of Caesars Palace hotel and casino to ask for votes. She told the workers that they were staying there, so she thought she’d see who was working. Clinton told cleaning personnel, “I know you do a hard job.”
Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, also a frequent casino campaigner, courter hospitality workers and union members aggressively as well, crossing paths with Clinton on more than one occasion.
On Saturday night at Caesars Palace, she celebrated her victory alongside her husband, former President Bill Clinton, and said thank you. She said, “You turned out in every corner of this state with determination and purpose, hotel and casino workers who never wavered.”
The week prior to the Nevada caucus, Clinton supporters, including actor Will Ferrell and Bill Clinton, who remains popular in the state, were among those out in full force visiting union workers. Many hotel workers were in line to cast their ballot at the caucus site at Caesars Palace. Among them was Clinton supporter Alvaro Gonzalez, who donned a tall, white chef’s hat. The 48-year-old Gonzalez has been a cook at the Caesars Palace hotel for 23 years and is a member of the Culinary Union. In 1990 he immigrated to the United States from Mexico and said he met the former First Lady twice during her visits to the hotel’s employee cafeteria last week. Persuaded to caucus for her as well were many of his colleagues, who Gonzalez said were influenced by Clinton’s visits.
In order to make the voting process easier for tens of thousands of Las Vegas casino workers, Senator Harry Reid had spoken with D. Taylor, the head of the state’s most powerful union, the Culinary Workers Union, Unite Here. The largest local of UNITE HERE, Culinary Workers Union Local 226 in Las Vegas, has approximately 57,000 members, more than any other union in Nevada, with more than half being Latino. The union has enormous power in Nevada and this year declined to endorse a presidential candidate, because it is entering contract negotiations.
Hospitality employees were let off with pay, by the at-large casino precinct caucus locations, to vote beyond the districts where they reside.