Adam Laxalt

Former Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt (R) jumped into the state’s Senate race against Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D) Tuesday, handing Republicans their favored candidate to run in the swing state.

Laxalt, who served one term as attorney general from 2015 to 2019 and lost the gubernatorial race in 2018, rolled out a launch video Tuesday filled with red meat for the GOP base, casting the “radical left” as stoking crime and “enforcing conformity” throughout the country. 

“The radical left, rich elites, woke corporations, academia, Hollywood and the media, they’re taking over America … telling lie after lie, making excuses for chaos and violence, censoring truth that doesn’t fit their agenda, amplifying anger and envy,” he said. “They demand control, ruthlessly enforcing conformity, cancelling any who stand in their way.”

Army veteran Sam Brown and business owner Sharelle Mendenhall have already joined the GOP primary, but Laxalt enters the race with a number of key advantages. Having won statewide in 2014, Laxalt will likely enjoy greater name ID. He also comes from a storied political family — he’s the son of former Sen. Pete Domenici (R-N.M.) and the grandson of former Sen. Paul Laxalt (R-Nev.). 

Laxalt is also anticipated to have strong fundraising from state and national Republican donors given his support among high-profile party members, including Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.), the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, and Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.). He’s also allied with former President Trump.

Nevada has been a key battleground state in recent years, with President Biden and Hillary Clinton narrowly winning the state in 2020 and 2016, respectively, by just 2 points. Cortez Masto first won her seat in 2016 by a similar margin.

Still, Republicans have been on their back foot in the state in recent cycles, not having clinched a statewide race since 2015.

“This won’t be an easy battle. We’re David, they’re Goliath,” said Laxalt, recognizing the headwinds he faces. “But we are America, we are the good guys. And for all our kids, we are not going to let the bad guys win.”

Democrats indicated they intend to hit Laxalt over his proximity to Trump and past support for conspiracies that election fraud marred the 2020 presidential race.

“As Attorney General, he used his office to benefit his special interest donors, and he became Donald Trump’s main lackey in Nevada by orchestrating bogus lawsuits to prop up the Big Lie and overturn the 2020 election. While Senator Cortez Masto is putting Nevadans first, Laxalt is only ever looking out for himself,” Nevada Democratic Victory spokesman Andy Orellana said in a statement.

Tags Adam Laxalt Catherine Cortez Masto Donald Trump Hillary Clinton Joe Biden Paul Laxalt Pete Domenici Tom Cotton
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