Hillary Clinton meets tribes in Washington as campaign continues

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was given a name in the Lushootseed language during a visit to the Puyallup Reservation in Washington on March 22, 2016. Photo by Emmy Ruiz / Twitter

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton went to Indian Country for the first time during her 2016 campaign on Tuesday.

Clinton visited the Puyallup Reservation and met with leaders of that tribe and others in the state, according to news reports. During the event, the former Secretary of State and the former Senator from New York was given a name that means “strong woman” in the Lushootseed language.

“I think she is the candidate to be reckoned with,” said Puyallup Vice Chair Roleen Hargrove, The Tacoma News-Tribune reported. “She is a strong woman.”

“I thought it was amazing we were able to meet a future president,” added Dan Gleason, a council member from the Chehalis Tribe. “And a female president is going to be amazing.”

The visit came ahead of Washington's Democratic primary on Friday and as Clinton won the Democratic primary in Arizona, a state where Native Americans represent 5.3 percent of the population, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. She defeated rival Bernie Sanders with 57.8 percent of the vote, according to The New York Times.

Sanders, though, won Utah with a whopping 80 percent of the vote. Native Americans represent about 1.5 percent of the population in the state, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Sanders also won Idaho with 78 percent of the vote. Native Americans are about 1.7 percent of the population, according to the Census.

Despite the victories, Sanders trails Clinton in delegate counts, which are needed to secure the nomination. By winning Arizona, for example, Clinton secured more delegates than Sanders did from Utah and Idaho combined.

Both Clinton and Sanders have been reaching out to Indian voters throughout their campaigns. Sanders, however, has met with more tribal leaders in more states and was the first to visit Indian Country. His efforts started last November with the Meskwaki Tribe.

Sanders and Clinton also have developed Indian platforms and have hired Native staff and Native advisors. Many of their ideas are similar in that they promise to continue the gains made during the Obama administration.

On the Republican side, real estate mogul Donald Trump won Arizona while Ted Cruz, the Senator from Texas, won Utah. Trump continues to lead in delegate counts over Cruz and John Kasich, the governor of Ohio.

Get the Story:
Hillary Clinton, daughter Chelsea bring campaign to Pierce County (The Tacoma News-Tribune 3/22)
Hillary Clinton campaigns in Seattle (KING5 News 3/22)
Clinton slams ‘leaders who incite more fear,’ pledges to defend workers’ rights (The Seattle Times 3/22)
Clinton, Trump win delegate-rich Arizona, but falter in Utah and Idaho (The Washington Post 3/22)
Clinton and Trump Win Arizona; Cruz Picks Up Utah; Sanders Takes 2 (The New York Times 3/23)
Voices from voters choosing candidates in 3 Western states (AP 3/23)
Bernie Sanders visits Navajo Nation (The Navajo-Hopi Observer 3/22)
In Flagstaff, Sanders pursues Native American vote, to mixed response (Cronkite News 3/22)
Bernie and Hillary Fight for the Native American Vote (I Agree to See 3/22)
Arizona Primary: Native Americans Could Be Key For Democrats (WFDD 3/22)
Bernie Sanders Expands Native Inclusion (Indian Country Today 3/21)

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