By Seth Richardson
YERINGTON – Small-town Yerington in Lyon County typically isn’t associated with flash and panache. But for the first time in its history, a presidential candidate visited its borders.
The quaint, 3,100-resident city is an overall snapshot of down-home rural Nevada. However, residents felt like the center of the political world Tuesday when Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio stopped through the town on the campaign trail. Rubio made face time at both a barbecue at a country residence with around 60 people and at a rally with around 230 people at the Pioneer Crossing Casino on Main Street.
“It’s my understanding this is the first time a presidential candidate has ever visited this community,” Rubio said to the crowd. “So I hope that they’re going to put a plaque out there somewhere saying this is the first time anybody ever visited. Hopefully 100 years from now when people drive through they won’t say, ‘Who is Marco Rubio?’”
The crowd was generally receptive to the senator’s 20-minute speech and 10-minute question-and-answer session. He spoke about the need to fix the economy, address immigration and revamp education, all issues with which the crowd sympathized.
But perhaps more important than even his message was the simple fact he actually came to town. Steve Sanders of Yerington said his arrival shows how important rural Nevada will be to the Republican nomination, especially with a field of 17 candidates.
“Candidates are realizing they need to get to the small communities in Northern Nevada and not just Washoe County,” he said.
The senator is not a low-end name for the town either. Rubio is often considered a top-five candidate in a crowded primary.
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