Sanders endorses Dem primary challenger against Rep. Dina Titus

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Sen. Bernie Sanders on Thursday threw his support behind progressive Democrat Amy Vilela in a primary against sitting Rep. Dina Titus (D-Nev.), just days before voters head to the polls.

“Amy was my state co-chair in 2020, and has been a consistent champion for Medicare for All in Nevada. When elected, Amy will be a champion for working families, and she will fight tirelessly for a Green New Deal, Housing for All, and a progressive foreign policy,” Sanders (I-Vt.) said in the press release. “I am proud to endorse her to represent the people of Nevada’s 1st Congressional District.”

Sanders’ backing comes ahead of the state’s primary elections on Tuesday, when Vilela will face off with Titus in the 1st District. Nevada is playing out to be one of the most politically volatile states of the 2022 cycle, and it’s a key battleground for control of both the House and the Senate this fall. Republicans are just five seats away from reclaiming power in the House, and the Senate is split 50-50 as Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) runs for reelection.

Titus will face a tough primary and, if she advances after Tuesday, a potentially difficult general election. Vilela has centered her campaign on issues like advocating for a Green New Deal and Medicare for All. In addition to Sanders' latest endorsement, she has support from progressive Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo.) and Nina Turner of Ohio.

“With the senator’s support, I’m more confident than ever that we’re once again on our way to securing a historic victory for progress in Nevada,” Vilela said in a statement.

The high stakes in Nevada can be partly attributed to Democrats’ moves in redistricting — spreading out voters so that in a good election, they could easily win three out of the state’s four total House districts. But in a rocky year for Democrats like this one, there’s a chance they could lose all four.

Earlier this spring, congressional Democrats’ main outside group, House Majority PAC, said it would spend $11.6 million in TV ads in Las Vegas, a sign that strategists believe they can still defend the three seats. House Democrats' campaign arm poured in yet more money this month, and Republican groups have answered with big investments of their own.

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