Sen. Bernie Sanders is returning to Nevada this weekend for the first time as a 2020 White House contender.
The 77-year-old independent senator from Vermont will hold an event Saturday at 2:30 pm at Morrell Park in Henderson, Nevada.
Sanders entered the presidential race in 2016 with a surprisingly successful insurgency campaign, but the 2020 landscape is substantially different than it was four years ago, when it was essentially a two-person race for the Democratic nomination. This time around, there are 14 announced major candidates — including fellow senators Kamala Harris of California, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Cory Booker of New Jersey, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, with more still expected to announce.
“There will be two questions that will resolve this primary,” said Sanders campaign manager, Faiz Shakir, during a conference call with reporters Monday, “the first being who can best defeat Donald Trump and the second being who do we trust to make the change we desperately need.”
Nevada, the first-in-the-West caucus state, will test presidential hopefuls ability to attract a more diverse voting block compared to other early voting states like Iowa and New Hampshire.
Sanders ultimately lost to Hillary Clinton in Nevada’s 2016 Democratic caucus.
“Last time we started at zero and had to introduce the senator to voters around the country,” said Sander’s senior campaign adviser Jeff Weaver during Monday’s conference call. “Now they know him.”
Sanders was in the state last year during the 2018 midterms while campaigning for Sen. Jacky Rosen and other Nevada Democrats, and drew sizable crowds.
Sanders announced his 2020 presidential campaign on Feb. 19. Earlier this month he formally kicked off his White House bid with events in the New York City borough of Brooklyn – where he was raised – and in Chicago – where he attended college. Saturday’s event is free and open to the public. No tickets are required, but anyone interested in attending is asked to RSVP in advance.