AP NEWS

Kamala Harris gets coveted invite from powerful Nevada union

November 4, 2019
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris speaks during a fund-raising fish fry for U.S. Rep. Abby Finkenauer, D-Iowa, Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019, at Hawkeye Downs Expo Center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris speaks during a fund-raising fish fry for U.S. Rep. Abby Finkenauer, D-Iowa, Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019, at Hawkeye Downs Expo Center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Kamala Harris will be the first Democratic presidential candidate to hold a town hall with the powerful casino workers’ Culinary Union in Las Vegas.

The union’s national affiliate Unite Here announced that the event with the California senator will be held Friday.

The Culinary Workers Union Local 226 represents bartenders, housekeepers and other workers in the city’s famed casinos. It offers one of the most powerful endorsements in Nevada Democratic politics.

The union’s leaders have had private meetings with most of the presidential candidates, but Harris is the first to be invited to a town hall with the union’s rank-and-file members. The union said Harris’ event will be the first in a series of town halls with the top Democratic presidential candidates.

Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio, who was considering a run for president but ultimately decided against one, had a town hall with the union in February.

Culinary’s 60,000 members are mostly women and mostly immigrants, and immigration reform, health care and workers’ issues are among the union’s top priorities.

Union leaders and members have said they have concerns about some of the “Medicare for All” plans backed by Democratic presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren because many union members who fought hard for good insurance want to keep their coverage.

Harris is a co-sponsor of “Medicare for All” legislation but now says she doesn’t favor its call to scrap all private health insurance.

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This story has been corrected to delete an erroneous reference to the town hall being held “next week.” The town hall is scheduled for Friday.