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Cory Booker marches forth, takes some heat in Boulder City parade

— Pancakes and parades: Democratic presidential hopefuls Sen. Cory Booker, New Jersey, and Rep. Seth Moulton of Massachusetts attended the Rotary Club Pancake Breakfast and Boulder City Damboree Celebration on Thursday.

— Positivity and love: Booker greeted parade attendees and even led volunteers of rival campaigns in their chosen chants before calling for love and unity at a subsequent campaign event.

— Bumps along the way: As the senator campaigned through one of Clark County’s more conservative areas, he was met with some boos and sharp questions.

Presidential candidate Sen. Cory Booker continued his holiday swing through Nevada on Thursday in Boulder City, serving up pancakes and marching in the Boulder City Damboree Celebration before delivering a campaign speech at the packed home of a local Democrat.

The New Jersey Democrat’s upbeat campaigning style was tested at times as he rubbed elbows in one of Clark County’s more conservative areas. Supporters of President Donald Trump made their presence known during the Damboree, and several who attended the speech asked him sharp questions about the potential costs of his progressive platforms.

Booker, who is also visiting family during his three-day stay in Nevada, marched near the head of a large Democratic procession that included a strong contingent of his volunteers but also groups of supporters of candidates Sen. Kamala Harris, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro and former Vice President Joe Biden.

Booker even led the Harris, Warren and Castro contingents in their respective campaign-specific chants at the beginning and end of the parade, saying later that there are good people in all the Democratic campaigns.

Massachusetts congressman and fellow 2020 hopeful Seth Moulton flipped pancakes and worked the parade route alongside Booker.

State Sen. Pat Spearman, who sat next to Booker at a Las Vegas veterans event in her honor on Wednesday night, marched with the Harris group. She said her early endorsement of Harris was “a no-brainer,” but she praised Booker’s gesture.

“We ask ourselves who should the Republicans fear, and they should fear a united Democratic party,” Spearman said as the group turned onto Colorado Street from Nevada Way. “All 24, 25 candidates — we all understand what’s at stake.”

Booker and Moulton were booed at certain curves in the parade route, with the hoots coming from both clearly identified Republican volunteers and parade watchers.

But Booker also received praise from a few onlookers. One woman told a child at her side that “he’s our next president.” Another young boy — water gun primed at the ready for the after-parade water fight — shouted “we love Democrats.”

After the parade, Booker moved to a nearby house owned by Judy Hoskins, who has been hosting Democratic political events for nearly 60 years. Hoskins remarked that she was 21 when she hosted Rose Kennedy, mother of President John F. Kennedy, in 1960.

“We all had to wear black outfits with white gloves,” she remembered. “Now we wear blue jeans and T-shirts. It’s much more comfortable.”

Booker spent about 25 minutes delivering a familiar campaign speech calling for love and stressing the danger that the current generation of young Americans will be the first not to do better than their parents. He then fielded questions for another 25 minutes.

At one point during his speech, he zeroed in on Nevada, citing the state’s “underfunded” school districts as an example of the country’s underachieving education system.

Two of the questions at the RSVP-only event were of the prickly variety.

One woman asked about the possible costs of the sweeping reforms proposed by many of the Democratic candidates.

Booker said he had experience “husbanding and savoring every dollar,” having ran the city of Newark during a recession.

He also noted that it can be cheaper to help people in a preventative manner rather than a reactive one. He cited a study in Seattle that he said found it was actually cheaper to house and offer mental health services to homeless people than to pay for their incarceration when they violate public nuisance laws.

Another question focused on the individual cost of overregulation, which Booker attempted to defuse by saying he was for the reduction of some regulations — specifically ones that overburden small businesses — while reaffirming the need to heavily regulate on key issues such as climate change.

Booker will attend an immigration roundtable on Friday to close out his sweep through the Las Vegas area.


Contact Rory Appleton at rappleton@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0276. Follow @RoryDoesPhonics on Twitter.

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