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The Latest: Harris would ban assault weapons, kill Yucca Mt.

April 3, 2019
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California Sen. Kamala Harris talks to teachers during an education round-table at Eagle Valley Middle School in Carson City, Nev. during her first presidential campaign trip to northern Nevada on Tuesday, April 2, 2019. Harris says that in addition to raising teacher salaries she would vigorously defend the rights of teachers nationally to join unions and bargain collectively. (AP Photo/Scott Sonner)

RENO, Nev. (AP) — The Latest on California Sen. Kamala Harris campaigning in northern Nevada for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination (all times local):

8:15 p.m.

California Sen. Kamala Harris drew loud cheers in a speech at a fundraiser for one of the biggest progressive groups in Nevada as she declared the 2020 presidential election a “fight for the soul of our country.”

Making her first campaign visit to northern Nevada on Tuesday, Harris told about 100 people at the raucous Battle Born Progress gathering in Carson City that she wouldn’t allow a nuclear waste repository to be built at Yucca Mountain north of Las Vegas if she’s elected president.

She touted a teacher pay increase she described earlier in the day at an education round-table and at the Washoe County Democratic headquarters in Reno.

She also called for a universal gun background check and a ban on assault weapons, criticizing those in Washington she says paint a false choice by saying you either favor the 2nd Amendment or you want to take all our guns away.

Regarding climate change, she also said it’s time to rely on scientific facts instead of science fiction.

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6:05 p.m.

Sen. Kamala Harris says that in addition to raising teacher salaries she would vigorously defend the rights of teachers to join unions and bargain collectively if she’s elected president.

The California Democrat told two dozen teachers during an education round-table at a Carson City middle school on Tuesday her plan to spend $310 billion over 10 years to boost teacher salaries nationally would mean an average pay raise of $15,000 for each of Nevada’s more than 17,000 teachers, the equivalent of a 26 percent pay hike.

Making her first campaign visit to northern Nevada, Harris said that under her administration the Education Department would be very different from the one currently led by Secretary Betsy DeVos. She says that instead of wanting to put a gun in a teacher’s hand, she’d raise their pay.

On other topics, Harris says she’s united with Nevada Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto in opposing the Trump administration’s push to restart the licensing process for a nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain north of Las Vegas.

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2:25 p.m.

California Sen. Kamala Harris says she’s a fighter who can take back the White House in 2020, cut taxes for working-class Americans and give teachers their biggest pay raise in U.S. history.

Making her first campaign visit to the northern part of Nevada, which is third in line for primary voting in 2020, the Democratic senator told more than 100 people who jammed the Washoe County Democratic headquarters in Reno Tuesday she feels like they are her cousins because they share a state border.

Her Reno debut wasn’t without some conflict.

Harris assured a Native American woman who interrupted her speech she would look into her concerns about U.S. violations of tribal treaties.

She also defended her opposition to the death penalty when questioned by a Jewish American woman who said she’s a strong supporter of capital punishment partly because her grandfather was killed during the Holocaust in Nazi Germany.

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1:25 a.m.

California Sen. Kamala Harris is bringing her Democratic presidential campaign to northern Nevada for the first time to visit party faithful and teachers and speak at a fundraiser for one of the biggest progressive groups in the early caucus state.

Harris plans a noon visit Monday to Washoe County Democratic headquarters in Reno. She’s hosting an education round-table in Carson City before giving the keynote address at the Battle Born Progress event across the street from the state capitol.

Harris held a rally in Las Vegas in early March and spoke at a conference for black women entrepreneurs. She’s the first Democratic presidential candidate to visit northern Nevada this year.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren plans a rally Saturday in Reno, where she addressed the state party convention in June.