Key Latino group endorses Sanders ahead of Nevada caucuses

Key Latino group endorses Sanders ahead of Nevada caucuses
© Greg Nash

A major Latino group has backed Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersOvernight Energy: Oil giants meet with Trump at White House | Interior extends tenure of controversial land management chief | Oil prices tick up on hopes of Russia-Saudi deal Oil giants meet at White House amid talk of buying strategic reserves The Hill's Campaign Report: Biden struggles to stay in the spotlight MORE (I-Vt.) in its first presidential endorsement, just days ahead of the Nevada caucuses.

Mijente, a grassroots group that says it mobilizes "Latinx and Chicanx" voters, confirmed to The Hill that it would support Sanders, who is building momentum both in Nevada and nationwide following last week's victory in the New Hampshire primary.

“[President] Trump’s reelection is a direct threat to our communities and families. We cannot and will not sit on the sidelines,” Marisa Franco, director and co-founder of Mijente, said in a statement, adding that Sanders has a history of progressive stances.

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“We need a president who will fight like hell for change that is long overdue and who will not quickly return to pre-Trump, quasi-progressive policies. We believe Sanders is that person.” 

Mijente's endorsement was first reported by Politico.

“Something that's very appealing to people is his consistency and the concept of palabra,” Marisa Franco, director and co-founder of Mijente, told Politico. “And what that means in our community is giving people your ‘word.’”

Sanders said it's "an honor" to receive Mijente's first presidential endorsement.

"They’ve mobilized a powerful grassroots network to stand up to Trump. Together we will build a multiracial, multigenerational movement to sweep him out of office and transform this country so it works for all," Sanders tweeted.

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Mijente said it will mobilize Latino voters to support Sanders in Nevada and elsewhere through social media, its roughly 1,000 dues-paying members and its more than 300,000-person email list, according to Politico.

The group also said it will run a volunteer effort aimed at getting more than 500 people to commit to phone banks and door knocking for Sanders in the key Super Tuesday states of North Carolina, California and Texas.

The group announced at the end of January it would be carrying out its first full membership endorsement process, deciding whether to endorse one, multiple or no candidates. Seventy percent of Mijente's members voted to endorse Sanders, according to Politico.

Mijente previously hosted a series of public talks called “El Chisme 2020” with Sanders, Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenOvernight Health Care: CDC recommends face coverings in public | Resistance to social distancing sparks new worries | Controversy over change of national stockpile definition | McConnell signals fourth coronavirus bill Democratic senators want probe into change of national stockpile description Democrats ask EPA, Interior to pause rulemaking amid coronavirus MORE (D-Mass.) and former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro.

Castro backed Warren in the race after he dropped out in January. 

“We're not picking a savior, we're picking our target,” Franco told Politico. “We didn’t pick him to be the fixer of all things.”

--This report was updated at 3:06 p.m.