The Culinary Union in Nevada, an affiliate of the national Unite Here trade organization, represents some 60,000 workers in Las Vegas in Reno primarily engaged in the gaming and hospitality industries. And come Nov. 8, union brass hopes all 60,000 vote Democratic.
Culinary Union members pose in solidarity about supporting Democrats in the 2022 midterms. Union members are pictured outside the Culinary headquarters in Las Vegas on Commerce Street. (Image: Culinary Union)
Nevadans next month will elect their next governor, four US House representatives, and junior US senator. Culinary Secretary-Treasurer Ted Pappageorge is encouraging the casino workers he represents to back Democratic candidates.
“We are proud to get out the vote for political leaders who will continue to fight to protect working families,” Pappageorge said in a statement to Casino.org.
The union leader says Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak (D), US Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D), and US Representatives Dina Titus, Steven Horsford, and Susie Lee — all Democrats — are “the most pro-worker representatives we have ever had in our lifetimes.”
Culinary claims to be running the largest political operative in Nevada history. The union says its canvassers have already knocked on more than 650,000 doors and plan to ring over one million doorbells by Election Day.
The Culinary Union’s casino industry members are employed in a variety of non-gaming functions, including cocktail servers, food servers, hotel housekeepers, bellmen, porters, cooks, and bartenders.
The trade group contends that Wall Street billionaires and real estate opportunists have used the COVID-19 pandemic for their own financial gain. And many of those wealthy investors, Culinary argues, tend to back the GOP.
The biggest corporations have been using the pandemic to price gouge working families but we are fighting back and we have a plan to win. No voter believes Republicans are going to take on massive Wall Street landlords who are stealing our homes and ruining our neighborhoods,” Pappageorge opined.
Real estate and rent prices have indeed increased in Southern Nevada since the onset of the pandemic. Many Californians have fled east to the Silver State to find lower taxes and no individual income tax. But Pappageorge believes the property value gains are more to do with greedy Republicans.
“Workers do not believe that Republicans, who are getting rich off of record oil profits and prescription drugs, are going to take on big oil or big pharma. Together, we will continue to take on Wall Street landlords, big oil, big pharma, and greedy corporations to win for working families,” the union boss concluded.
If the political betting markets prove accurate, Nov. 8 won’t be a great day for the Culinary Union’s political goals.
Sisolak’s Republican challenger, Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo, is favored to unseat the governor. The PredictIt odds suggest that the top cop in Las Vegas has about a 72% chance of becoming governor.
Sen. Cortez Masto’s days in Congress could also be numbered, as Republican challenger Adam Laxalt, who previously served Nevada as the state’s attorney general, is the betting front-runner. Laxalt has an implied 69% chance of going to Washington.
Pollsters have things a bit closer. Lombardo has just a two-point lead over Sisolak according to the Real Clear Politics polling average, while Laxalt maintains less than a point advantage on Cortez Masto.
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