weather icon Clear

Las Vegas LGBTQ Democratic club hosts spirited debate watch party

A small but spirited audience filled a boardroom at the Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Southern Nevada on Wednesday with cheers and groans for the first batch of Democratic presidential hopefuls to hit the national debate stage.

Most of the dozen or so people who huddled around a large TV were members of the Stonewall Democratic Club of Southern Nevada, which recently celebrated its fourth anniversary as a chartered club for LGBTQ Democrats and allies. A few state and local Democratic operatives mixed with club members to form a vocal audience at the downtown Las Vegas event.

Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro was cheered for his spirited answers and subsequent prodding of fellow candidates on the issue of immigration.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota was vigorously applauded for her jab at President Donald Trump “conducting foreign policy in a bathrobe at 5 a.m.” Both Klobuchar and New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker were praised for their stances on gun control.

Some in the group groaned at former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, lamenting that he does not answer the questions posed. Others wondered aloud why former Maryland Rep. John Delaney was even on the stage.

Donna West, chair of the Clark County Democratic Party, said she must remain neutral in public on the large Democratic field. But she felt Klobuchar impressed with well-thought-out plans, and she said New York Mayor Bill de Blasio surprised her with his ability to interject with strong points.

West said she hopes Nevada voters will keep an open mind after the first of 12 such debates concludes Thursday night. Many of these candidates, she noted, can be seen in the flesh in Nevada on any given week.

Jake Marko, the activism and outreach coordinator for the Stonewall Democrats, has already made up his mind. He wore a cap with a pride flag on one side and a button for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders on the other.

Sanders allegiance aside, Marko said he was impressed with Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, who at one point during the debate was asked to explain her previous anti-LGBTQ statements — to a muted response from the Stonewall members in this particular room.

“Both showed that they have what it takes,” Marko said, adding that, like West, he too was positively surprised by de Blasio.

After the debate, the group watched a video sent to them by Warren, who sits in the top five in most polls and who was widely considered the strongest candidate in this first group going into Wednesday’s debate.

In the video, Warren congratulated the club on its anniversary and pledged to fight for all LGBTQ people going forward.

“Dream big. Fight hard. And let’s do this,” Warren said to close the video.

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

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Politics Videos
Bernie Sanders Unveils Affordable Housing Plan - Video
Bernie Sanders sits down with the Las Vegas Review-Journal to talk about his new affordable housing plan he unveiled at Plumbers & Pipefitters.
Jim Marchant talks gun control and Dreamers - Video
Republican Candidate for District 4 Jim Marchant talks about gun control and immigration policies. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Hurricanes, Gender, and Science in the Press
Imagine if the mainstream media’s current hurricane-sized obsession with scientific accuracy applied to gender.
Cory Booker on college tuition and minimum wage
Cory Booker talks on the RJ Politics podcast about college debt, informing workers about their rights and livable wages.
Nevada Politics Today: Teacher raises - VIDEO
Jason Goudie, the chief financial officer for the Clark County School District, talks about teacher pay and raises. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Media's Double Standard On Incitement And Trump - Video
Over the weekend, an Elizabeth Warren-supporting socialist who opposed gun violence used a rifle to commit a mass murder in Dayton, Ohio. The media has downplayed that aspect of the tragedy.
Project Our Care Tour Kicks Off In Las Vegas
U.S. Rep. Dina Titus joined health care advocates and local residents as part of Protect Our Care’s nationwide bus tour kick off in Las Vegas on Monday, August 5, 2019. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Bernie Sanders talks about guns, response to El Paso shooting
Sen. Bernie Sanders spoke about his response and continued policy ideas about guns and gun control to the Review-Journal after a panel of other topics. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pete Buttigieg On Gun Control And Climate Change - Video
Pete Buttigieg talks about his campaign for the 2020 election and how Nevada is a vision of what the future can be.
Beto O'Rourke speaks in Las Vegas
Presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke spoke to supporters at the East Las Vegas Community Center in Las Vegas, Thursday, Aug. 2, 2019. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Former Nevada Senate leader Kelvin Atkinson sentenced to prison
Former Nevada Senate Majority Leader Kelvin Atkinson, who pleaded guilty to misusing campaign funds, was sentenced to 27 months in prison on Thursday, July 18, 2019. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Trumps Strength is also a Weakness - Video
One of Donald Trump’s greatest strengths — his ability to shape national narratives — is also a great weakness.
Tax the Rich Bus Tour makes a stop in Las Vegas - Video
The Tax the Rich Bus has stopped in Las Vegas as part of its summer tour. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Assemblywoman Daniele Monroe-Moreno hosts BBQ - Video
Assembly Woman Daniele Monroe-Moreno hosts BBQ to bring the community together to hear about the candidates up for election and for people to gather and have fun.
Democrat Virtual Caucus - Video
Elizabeth Warren visits Las Vegas
Senator Elizabeth Warren made a campaign stop at the East Las Vegas Community Center on Tuesday July 2, 2019. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Aaron Ford Speaks About Bill AB431
AB431 is a bill sponsored by Nevada Assembly Speaker Jason Frierson to restore the right to vote for formerly incarcerated individuals. Attorney General Aaron Ford spoke at the AM&E Church in North Las Vegas about the bill, on Monday, July 1, 2019. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
‘A dumb thing to do’: Trudeau apologizes for brownface

The prime minister, who champions diversity and multiculturalism, said he didn’t consider it racist at the time but said we all know better now.

Appeals court asked to halt discharge of Airmen with HIV

The Department of Justice has argued that the military allows service members who contract HIV to continue to serve if they can perform their duties.