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Catherine Cortez Masto on reelection: ‘We have an opportunity to move forward’


(WASHINGTON) — “GMA3” welcomed Nevada Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, the nation’s first Latina senator. Her reelection allowed Democrats to maintain control of the Senate.

Cortez Masto discussed how abortion rights, the fight for democracy and kitchen table issues fueled her victory and why Georgia Sen. Raphael Warnock is instrumental to achieving more progress.

GMA3: Joining us now for a GMA3 exclusive in her very first network interview since being reelected to the Senate, Catherine Cortez Masto. Sen. Cortez Masto, I’m going to ask you. We just said it was narrow. It was a nail biter. All eyes were certainly on this race. How does it feel now to have won?

CATHERINE CORTEZ MASTO: Well, good afternoon. And, you know, there was so much energy in Nevada and I felt it. And I’m just honored, honored that our voters came out and the energy was there. And just, you know, this is a state that I have was born and raised in. I’m so honored to represent the people in Nevada and the businesses there. So it was an exciting day for everyone that worked so hard to really get us across the finish line.

GMA3: [You] worked so hard and something must have worked because here you sit as the winner now. But one of those things that may have worked and again, don’t want to harp on this too much or make it sound so bad, but you didn’t have President Biden out there on the campaign trail for you. Now, again, some we will talk about that a little bit. Was that a calculated decision that now seems to have worked in such a close race?

CORTEZ MASTO: Well, let me just say, my focus was just getting out and talking to Nevadans. You know, I feel very strongly if you’re going to if you’re going to represent people, you got to get out there and ask for their votes. Got to talk to them. You listen to them. Talk to them about how we’re going to work together to address the challenges. And what I was hearing from Nevadans were the issues dealing with the kitchen table issues and high inflation and costs there and dealing with housing costs. And the concern about the repeal of Roe v. Wade in a state that is a proud pro-choice state. And I was also hearing about the concerns about what happened on Jan. 6 at the Capitol.

So to me, it was really more about just getting out and talking to so many Nevadans. Now, with that said, there were so many people that came into the state. They were welcome. They came in to help us turn out the vote. And there were people on the ground, there were organized labor that was out there. There were so many people. And I was so pleased to see that that overwhelming excitement and energy from not just people in Nevada, but so many that really came in to help us knock on doors and turn out that vote. It was instrumental.

And, you know, I just have to say, I’m very proud and proud of the Nevadans and the hard work that they did and the ability now that we have to continue the work that we need to get done for so many people in Nevada and across the country.

GMA3: You’re going to have a lot of focus over the next few weeks, going to be on Georgia. I’m wondering about your take now that we thought it was, thought that maybe over the next month we were going to see all that money and attention go to Georgia, because that was going to be the deciding Senate race. That’s not going to be the case anymore, given that you have now won and Democrats are going to hold on to the Senate. So what do you think the significance now of Democrats holding on to that seat in Georgia will be?

CORTEZ MASTO: Well, let me just say, in general, what I saw in Nevada, one thing in particular, because people know in Nevada, when they came out and elected me the first time, that really was a vote to protect and guard the Affordable Care Act, which in Nevada has helped so many, so many people there, right. If I hadn’t been elected, it would have been repealed. And so now coming out, so many people came out knowing that even though we’re a pro-choice state, that if there’s a federal abortion ban that would restrict or Lindsey Graham’s abortion ban were to get on the floor and passed, it would preempt our state law.

So now we are guarding against that happening, at least in the Senate. And I think it’s important that what I’ve seen is by electing Raphael Warnock, who was instrumental in the bipartisan infrastructure package, in working in bringing manufacturing back to this country and working about to address health care in his state and lower those costs, we can continue the good work on behalf of Americans in solving the problems that I hear. And I know he’s hearing in his community that we still have to address for so many, so many people that are still struggling at this point in time.

We have an opportunity to move forward, make major investments in this country that will grow and create jobs and grow our economy. And to me, that’s worth — is still — this fight. And I know Raphael Warnock is in an instrumental part of that future and what we want to achieve here in this country.

GMA3: Well, congratulations, Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto. Thank you for being with us. We appreciate your time today.

CORTEZ MASTO: Thank you.

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