Catherine Cortez Masto: Supporters were coming up to me in tears

Catherine Cortez Masto: Supporters were coming up to me in tears
© Greg Nash

When Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) took the stage to give her own victory speech in Las Vegas, she already knew one thing: Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse Democrat slams Donald Trump Jr. for ‘serious case of amnesia’ after testimony Skier Lindsey Vonn: I don’t want to represent Trump at Olympics Poll: 4 in 10 Republicans think senior Trump advisers had improper dealings with Russia MORE would be the next president.

“It was an incredible evening,” she told The Hill. “[But] it was tough in the sense that so many of my supporters ... were afraid of the rhetoric from Trump, who was denigrating people in my community and they were concerned.”

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On election night, Cortez Masto clinched her campaign to become Nevada’s first female senator and the first Latina elected to the Senate. 

She described election night as “bittersweet,” contrasting her historic victory and Democrats’ dominance in Nevada — Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonGrassley blasts Democrats over unwillingness to probe Clinton GOP lawmakers cite new allegations of political bias in FBI Top intel Dem: Trump Jr. refused to answer questions about Trump Tower discussions with father MORE carried the state and Democrats flipped two House seats — with Trump taking the White House.

Cortez Masto, “like the rest of the country,” said she expected Clinton to win the White House, but realized Democrats had lost by the time her race was called. 

Supporters, she said, were coming up to her “in tears” over what Trump’s victory and his hard-line immigration rhetoric would mean for them, their friends and families, in a state that has a significant immigrant population.

Cortez Masto, who has focused on mentoring and trying to increase diversity in the Senate, said Trump’s victory underscored that it was important “now more than ever … to bring my voice and our fight to Washington.”