Aug 11, 2022 - World

Nevada's biggest union is stumping on the economy for Dems

A Culinary Union member in Nevada canvasses voters at an apartment complex, carrying multiple pamphlets
Culinary Union member Maria Orozco (R) hands voter information to a resident as she canvasses at an apartment complex in Las Vegas, Nevada on June 8. Photo: David Becker for the Washington Post via Getty.

Nevada’s biggest workers' organization — the Culinary Union — says it's helping Democrats in the midterms by focusing on the economy and battling misconceptions about what's caused record inflation.

Why it matters: The union, which represents 60,000 Nevada hotel staffers, bartenders and casino workers, is a political powerhouse and took credit for helping President Biden win in Nevada in 2020. It aims to reach 1.1 million voters this election on behalf of Democrats — its largest-ever door-knocking campaign.

Union members — 54% of whom are Latino — are frustrated at how some economists, corporations and the GOP have blamed inflation on stimulus checks and demands for higher wages, the union's secretary-treasurer and former president, Ted Pappageorge, told Axios Today.

  • "Democrats need to come out swinging. They need to come out fighting about inflation," Pappageorge said.
  • He pointed to the Inflation Reduction Act as a starting point.

The big picture: Inflation is eroding support among Latinos for the Democratic party, polling shows.

  • That's crucial in Nevada, where Latino voters have dramatically increased their presence. The Nevada Current reports that more than 165,000 Nevada Latinos are likely to vote this November, a nearly 6% increase from the 2020 general election, according to projections by the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials Educational Fund.

Details: The door-knocking campaign started in March and includes 100 members who are taking leave from work to canvass, the union says.

  • It's knocked on 50,000 doors so far and hopes to double that by the end of the month.

The intrigue: Nevada's population is majority non-white, according to the Census Bureau, and the third-most diverse state in the country. That's a major reason why it's vying to be the first primary state for Democrats in the 2024 Presidential Election.

  • The Democratic National Committee meets in Chicago later this month to determine who will vote first.
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