The Nevada Democratic Party will partner with the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and IMPACTO, 100 Black Men of America, and the College of Southern Nevada to hold the second Democratic presidential debate in Las Vegas. The debate will be telecast live by MSNBC and held at the Cashman Center in Las Vegas on Tuesday, January 15, 2008 from 6:00 – 8:00 pm Pacific Standard Time.
Nevada, the second state in the nation to hold a presidential caucus and the first in the West to host an early window nominating contest, was chosen as an early state in part because 40 percent of its population is minority, primarily Hispanic and African-American. Issues affecting these communities such as economic development, education, health care and the war in Iraq will be highlighted during the debate.
With 11 days between the New Hampshire primary on Jan. 8th and the Nevada caucus, the Silver State could be the a circuit breaker that halts the momentum of the candidate that wins both earlier contests; the tiebreaker if two candidates split the New Hampshire primary and Iowa Caucuses; or the validator for a candidate who wins all three.
“Nevada will play a critical role in the selection of our nominee as the first test in the West and the first test of the Hispanic vote,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. “We’re proud to announce this debate and applaud NBC and MSNBC for recognizing the important role of Nevada’s diverse electorate. We thank our co-sponsors – the U.S. Hispanic Chamber and IMPACTO, the 100 Black Men of America and the College of Southern Nevada – for helping to host this historic event in Nevada.”
“We are happy that the voters of Nevada will have another opportunity to hear from our candidates before the January 19th caucus,” said Democratic Party Chair Jill Derby. “I’d like to thank IMPACTO, a nonpartisan political action committee affiliated with the Las Vegas Latin Chamber of Commerce, and the African American Democratic Leadership Council for the work they did to secure this important debate in Nevada.”
The Executive Committee of the African American Democratic Leadership Council, which includes many of Nevada’s Democratic African American elected leaders, has worked since January to secure a debate that would highlight issues important to Nevada’s minority population.
“We’re pleased to bring this important debate to a national television audience,” said Phil Alongi, Executive Producer of Special Events for NBC News. “This event comes at a critical time in the primary season, as the action moves from New Hampshire to Nevada.”
“Nevada was chosen as an early caucus state largely because of its growing Hispanic population,” said Tony F. Sanchez III, chair of IMPACTO, the nonpartisan political action committee affiliated with the Las Vegas Latin Chamber of Commerce. “We are proud to partner on this debate with these national and local organizations and we look forward to the focus on issues important to the Hispanic and African American Communities such as health care, education and immigration.”
“The Hispanic business community is going to play a critical role in the 2008 elections, and as a non-partisan trade association, the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce wants to support all debates that promote our issues,” said David C. Lizárraga, U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Board Chair. “Small business is the engine that keeps jobs in the U.S. and helps the U.S. compete in a global economy. We look forward to leading the charge for the Hispanic business community and being a host for this important debate.”
“It is critical that those who seek to lead our country focus on how to provide equal access to quality educational opportunities, address well documented health disparities between African Americans and other groups, promote economic empowerment among the truly disadvantaged, and create a positive environment that supports meaningful mentoring relationships for our youth,” said 100 Black Men of America Chairman, Albert E. Dotson, Jr. “With chapters, members and stakeholders throughout our nation, the 100 Black Men of America, Inc. is proud to co-sponsor a debate for candidates to focus on these most important concerns for our urban centers.”
“CSN is proud to partner in this important debate, which focuses on issues that are critical to our students’ success and Nevada’s future,” said Dr. Carlos Campo, Interim Vice President of Academic Affairs at the College of Southern Nevada.