- Associated Press - Thursday, November 3, 2016

LAS VEGAS (AP) - A flood of celebrities has descended on Nevada in the final week of early voting, with campaigns hoping to keep their supporters motivated to vote as the presidential race tightens and as down-ballot contests remain nerve-rackingly close. Here are a few of the visitors.


Former President Bill Clinton praised his wife’s policies on college debt relief before kicking off a campaign rave featuring DJ Steve Aoki at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Attendees wearing glow sticks jumped up and down and electronic music throbbed while strobe lights lit up a sign reading “Stronger Together,” Hillary Clinton’s campaign slogan.

The Thursday evening show is part of the campaign’s “Love Trumps Hate” concert series that’s enlisted stars like Katy Perry and Jon Bon Jovi to energize younger voters for Clinton and down-ballot Democrats.

“I want you to claim your future. I want you to finish this election strong. I want you to go see every friend you’ve got and don’t let anybody sit on the sidelines,” Clinton said.

Democratic U.S. House candidate Ruben Kihuen and Senate hopeful Catherine Cortez Masto also got a few minutes in front of a young crowd of about 1,000 people, joking about which one of them Aoki should throw a cake at. The DJ is known for throwing cakes at audience members during his shows.

He ended up “caking” a top Nevada Clinton campaign staffer.

On Wednesday, Hillary Clinton herself came to Las Vegas for a rally at a union hall and to personally drum up support at casino worker cafeterias, barber shops and a hair braiding salon.


Donald Trump’s son stumped for his dad Thursday inside Ahern Manufacturing, a Las Vegas business that makes forklifts and other heavy construction equipment. He was introduced by Rick Harrison of the show Pawn Stars.

“He’s made billions of dollars, employed tens of thousands of people,” Harrison said, according to KSNV-TV. “He understands … it’s not like career politicians who’ve never hired anybody out of their own pocket.”

Former U.S. House Speaker and presidential candidate Newt Gingrich stopped at the Las Vegas Trump campaign headquarters Thursday afternoon, rallying voters with critical Clinton comments.

“If they had stayed out of the limelight, they could have spent the rest of their lives grifting off people,” Gingrich said, according to the station.

More big names are yet to come. Former presidential candidate Ben Carson, Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani are scheduled to visit Nevada over the weekend as surrogates.

Trump himself will hold a rally at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center on Saturday evening - marking the second time in a week that he’s personally campaigned in Nevada.


Vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine’s wife Anne Holton campaigned in Reno on Thursday, while Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro and his brother, Rep. Joaquin Castro, stopped by UNLV.

Liberal firebrand Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts drew crowds when she stopped by Carson City and Reno on Wednesday.

“We will never build Donald Trump’s ugly wall and we will never tear families apart,” she said to cheers, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Bernie Sanders is expected to visit before Election Day, although it’s not clear when.


Climate change-focused political advocacy group NextGen Climate has been bringing pets to early voting sites on Nevada college campuses to lure animal-loving voters.

After their “Puppy Party at the Polls” Tuesday at the College of Southern Nevada, they launched a pop-up cat cafe at the University of Nevada, Reno where students could pet the furry felines.

At UNLV on Thursday, the group hosted a baby kangaroo and a sloth.

“All the extra paws are helping students slow down to have a genuine conversation about the election and what issues matter to them!” said Peyton Olsen, a spokeswoman for the group.

Turnout is expected to determine the outcome in tight Nevada presidential and congressional races. Democratic turnout is 5 percentage points ahead of Republican turnout so far.

More than 680,000 people have cast ballots during the early voting period that wraps up Friday. That’s about 45 percent of Nevada’s 1.5 million active registered voters.

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