Former Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt officially launched his campaign for the Senate on Tuesday, becoming the most prominent Republican to say he'll run against Democrat Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto in the Western state that has leaned Democrat in recent elections.
"The radical left, rich elites, woke corporations, academia and the media — they're taking over America," Laxalt said in a dramatic "Star Wars" themed campaign video. "Telling lie after lie, making excuses for chaos and violence, censoring truth that doesn’t fit their agenda, amplifying anger and envy," he continues in the video. "They demand control, ruthlessly enforcing conformity, canceling any who stand in their way."
He emphasized his military background and role as attorney general in the video. "We're not going to let the bad guys win."
Laxalt has well-connected roots. He is the son of former Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M., and the grandson of former Sen. Paul Laxalt, R-Nev. His grandfather also served as Nevada governor, a job the younger Laxalt ran for in 2018. He lost to Democrat Steve Sisolak by 4 percentage points, Politico reported.
Laxalt is challenging Cortez Masto, who served as chair of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee last cycle and won her first election, in 2016, by 2 points.
Cortez Masto had $6.6 million in cash on hand as of June 30. Laxalt, whose announcement was long expected, filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission earlier this week.
Also in the GOP race to unseat Cortez Masto are retired Army veteran Sam Brown and business owner Sharelle Mendenhall. But Laxalt is considered the overwhelming favorite to win the nomination and has strong support from the likes of Sen. Rick Scott of Florida, the National Republican Senatorial chair., Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, and Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas.
Democrats were quick to point to Laxalt's ties to former President Donald Trump. In a statement, a spokesman for Nevada Democratic Victory, Andy Orellana, said "Failed politician Adam Laxalt has a history of corruption and consistently uses his public position to work against Nevadans. 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."
President Joe Biden won Nevada by 2% in the last election. The GOP hasn't carried the state at the presidential level since 2004, and Republicans have won only one statewide race since 2015, Politico reported.
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