The Latest: Sanders defiant about Democratic establishment

LAS VEGAS (AP) — The Latest on the 2020 presidential campaign (all times local):

9:15 p.m.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is lumping the “Democratic establishment” in with the corporate and Republican establishment and saying they can’t stop him.

Sanders is the favorite in Saturday’s Nevada caucuses after winning New Hampshire and essentially tying for first in Iowa. His rivals and some party centrists have become alarmed that the self-declared democratic socialist could win the nomination as his opponents split the non-Sanders vote.

Sanders is an independent who caucuses with Democrats. In Nevada he has stressed his independence from the party. On Friday night he went further yet. He said the establishment was “getting worried” about a multiracial coalition that wants higher wages and health care.

“When we stand up together, they’re not going to stop us,” Sanders told a crowd in a Las Vegas park.

9 p.m.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar capped a day of campaigning across Nevada by telling a crowd in Reno she’s the best candidate for those who are tired of extremes and want someone with proven experience who can bring people together.

The Minnesota Democrat started Friday morning in Las Vegas and traveled to rural Elko before making one final plea for support in Reno before Saturday’s first-in-the West presidential caucuses.

Klobuchar says she has a track record of being able to work not just with Democrats but also Republicans and independents to find common ground. She said it takes real courage to be willing to stand next to someone you don’t always agree with to find solutions.

She told about 200 people Friday night in a Boys & Girls Club gym in Reno that if they are “tired of the noise and nonsense in our politics, and the extremes — you’ve got a home with me.”

8:50 p.m.

Joe Biden is making his last pitch to supporters before seeking a badly needed boost for his campaign in Nevada’s Saturday caucuses.

The former vice president excoriated President Donald Trump while speaking in front of about 250 supporters at a Las Vegas middle school,citing the president’s downplaying of U.S. intelligence conclusions that Russia interfered in the 2016 election.

Biden said Russia is also trying to affect “who becomes the nominee in the Democratic Party,” a reference to reports Friday that intelligence officials have concluded Russia is trying to interfere and help Trump’s re-election and to boost the candidates of Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Biden said that though Trump was impeached, he wasn’t removed from office and “he thinks he has free reign to do anythIng at all.”

8:40 p.m.

Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg says he’ll never know the struggles that people of color endure but as president he’ll surround himself with people who do.

The former mayor of South Bend, Indiana was asked by a voter at his last campaign rally before the Nevada caucuses why polls show him lagging with voters of color.

Buttigieg says he’ll never have the experience of a black man watched suspiciously in the mall or a black woman denied pain medication at a hospital.

“That’s the promise that I will make — that I will always show up. I will always listen. I will always learn and these voices will be elevated and empowered in my white house just as they are in my campaign,” Buttigieg told more than a 1,000 people in a middle school gym in Las Vegas.

Buttigieg focused his closing message to Nevada voters on a call to unity, saying “we’ve got to put forward a nominee who can bring as many Americans as possible into a majority that can defeat Donald Trump.” He lobbed an implicit criticism at Bernie Sanders, saying Americans shouldn’t have to choose between a revolution and the status quo.

7:40 p.m.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren made a last pitch to Nevada voters, saying Senate filibuster should be eliminated if lawmakers, like Senate leader Mitch McConnell, keep blocking gun control that many Americans support.

Warren was holding a town-hall style event Friday in Las Vegas before the state’s voters become the first in the West to decide on a Democratic nominee. With the site of the biggest mass shooting in modern U.S. history about 5 miles away, Warren mentioned rival presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders by name in her comments about the obstacles to changing gun laws .

“When other people who are running for president — and I say this just as a factual statement — like Bernie, who say they want to make real change but they will not roll back the filibuster, keep in mind what that means,” Warren said. “They have given a veto to the gun industry.”

There were about 500 people at the event, according to Warren’s campaign.

6:40 p.m.

The campaign of Democratic presidential candidate Tom Steyer says it has reached a tentative deal to unionize just ahead of the Nevada caucuses.

The California billionaire climate activist’s campaign announced Friday it had reached an agreement with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 2325. Steyer’s campaign says a majority of field staff agreed to be represented by IBEW Local 2325, and the negotiated agreement will be subject to ratification by campaign staff.

Labor support for candidates is expected to play a critical role in Saturday’s Nevada caucuses, and lobbying for union backing has been spirited.

Staffs of several Democratic campaigns have unionized as the field lobbies to garner labor support ahead of the eventual nominee’s general election matchup with President Donald Trump.

Other campaigns that have organized include Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, former Vice President Joe Biden and former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg.