Just one week ahead of the Nevada caucuses, the next contest in the fight for the Democratic nomination, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders attended the same African-American church in West Las Vegas -- an unexpected run-in that gave evidence of just how intense the battle for votes between the two of them has become.
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Sanders, along with his wife Jane and some members of his staff, entered the Victory Missionary Baptist Church after Clinton was already seated and waiting. The two candidates sat on opposite sides of the packed church, both in the front row, and each listened as the other addressed the crowd. Rep. John Lewis accompanied Clinton.
Pastor Fowler of Victory Baptist Church told his lively congregation, "I am encouraged by the fact that were willing to come sit in the same church, same service, same time."
He said that the Sanders campaign contacted the church first about attending the service this particular Sunday, and so although Sanders arrived second, he spoke first.
"Over the last seven years in this country, we have made enormous progress under the leadership of President Obama and Vice President Biden," Sanders said during his brief remarks. "No state in America knows more about the impact of the greed and illegal behavior of Wall Street than the state of Nevada. This state was decimated. We have made great progress but much more needs to be done."
Sanders also discussed criminal justice reform and educational and opportunity gaps.
Lewis then introduced Clinton, whom he called a "beloved sister." Clinton went on to deliver much more politically charged remarks than Sanders -- hitting her opponent for his focus on the "rigged" economy and "corrupt" political system.
"I am not a single issue candidate and this is not a single issue country. Because if we were going to achieve everything about banks and money and politics, would that end racism?" she said, as Sanders sat in front of her. "Would that make it automatically going to happen that people will be able to get the jobs they deserve, the housing the need, the education their children should have? ... We have work to do."
Clinton once again tied herself to President Obama.
"We have to be focused on doing everything we can to build on the progress that President Obama has made," she said.
The two candidates have both ramped up their campaign efforts in Nevada ahead of the caucus next week, and both campaigns are preparing for a much tighter race than originally expected. Clinton even cancelled an event in Florida on Monday, so she should stay in Nevada to campaign.