Jun 15, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Trump-backed Adam Laxalt wins Nevada Senate GOP primary

Nevada GOP Senate candidate Adam Laxalt speaks during a campaign event at Pirates Landing restaurant.
Nevada GOP Senate candidate Adam Laxalt speaks during a campaign event on June 11. Photo: David Becker/Getty Images

Former Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt won the state's Republican Senate primary on Tuesday, holding off a primary challenge by former Army veteran Sam Brown, per AP.

Why it matters: Laxalt, who was endorsed by former President Trump, will now take on incumbent Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto in a race the GOP sees as a prime opportunity to flip a seat in their quest to take back control of the Senate.

Driving the news: Laxalt held off Brown, whose challenge gained more momentum during the final weeks ahead of the primary.

The big picture: Laxalt has close ties to prominent Republicans, including Trump, having worked on his 2020 re-election campaign, per AP. Laxalt helped push false claims about election fraud in Nevada after the 2020 election and he led legal challenges to overturn election results.

  • Brown said he believed that Joe Biden won the 2020 election.
  • Trump hosted a "tele-rally" for Laxalt last week.
  • "[June 14] happens to be my birthday," Trump said during the call. "So if you would give me a nice birthday present — and that's Adam, give me Adam as a birthday present."
  • Laxalt also earned support from potential 2024 presidential candidate Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who was Laxalt's roommate in the Navy, per AP.

What to watch: November's election is likely to be a close race, as Nevada, which President Biden won by two points in 2020, is considered a toss-up by election forecasters.

  • "She's the most vulnerable senator in America," Laxalt said of Cortez Masto at a campaign event this weekend, CNN reports.
  • "It's our time to flip Nevada and save our country."

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