This story has been updated to include additional commentary from the Catherine Cortez Masto campaign.
Nevadans are fed up with the “radical left” and are ready to send a Republican back to the US Senate, GOP Senate Leader Adam Laxalt told a crowd in Reno on Friday.
Laxalt, the grandson of former Nevada Senator Paul Laxalt and son of former New Mexico Senator Pete Domenici, seeks to topple Democratic Senator Catherine Cortez Masto in one of the most closely watched Senate contests in the world. country.
The Reno native, 43, served a lot of red meat in a brief speech at his campaign launch, where he criticized everything from cancellation of culture and critical breed theory to Black Lives Matter and the recent exit of the US military from Afghanistan.
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“We can still get strong Conservatives elected to represent our values,” Laxalt told a crowd of several dozen supporters at famed Dave’s Barbeque. “If we get me elected and take over the US Senate, the Senate can stop the madness. The Senate can prevent what (the left) threatens every day. “
“You can all make a difference… We have to fight. You can all fight back.
Unlike previous lineage speeches, Laxalt also criticized Cortez Masto for positioning herself as a moderate candidate despite following her party line on at least 85% of recent votes in Congress.
But Laxalt in particular did not mention the issue that has attracted his most attention in recent months: electoral integrity.
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Laxalt – who served as Attorney General of Nevada from 2015 to 2019 and unsuccessfully ran for governor in 2018 – has been one of Silver State’s loudest supporters for allegations of electoral fraud by former President Donald Trump.
In 2020, he co-chaired Trump’s campaign in Nevada, which filed lawsuits in state and federal courts that challenged election rules and results. Laxalt said the 2020 election was “rigged” and court challenges failed because they were filed too late.
He also insisted that ineligible and deceased voters cast ballots, laws passed by the Democratic-led state house to send mail ballots to every active voter invited fraud, and observers. Republicans were prevented from seeing the counting of the ballots or disputing the signatures on the mails. ballots. His legal action at the origin of this case was, like all the others, ultimately dismissed by the courts.
Laxalt had little to say about voting safety in a brief post-event meeting with reporters on Friday, although he reiterated his concerns about a Democrat-backed postal voting law who, among other things, allows Nevada voters to have someone else hand in their ballot.
“We defended the integrity of the elections in 2020 and I continue to believe that this is a problem for our state,” he added. “And I’m not the only one: 70% of Nevadans think our current voting system is not very secure.”
Laxalt categorically refused to answer questions posed by the Reno Gazette Journal, explaining only that he was not satisfied with the newspaper’s coverage of his case of juvenile arrests and other controversies that emerged during his time. failure in 2018 for the governor’s mansion.
Responding to Laxalt’s comments on Friday, Cortez Masto’s campaign released a statement: “Senator Cortez Masto is one of the most effective Senate leaders and called for the next budget bill to be focused on granting tax cuts for working families, which Adam Laxalt opposed.
“She designed key pieces of the infrastructure package that will provide billions of dollars to fight wildfires in the West and create thousands of jobs in Nevada, but Laxalt also opposed the plan. The contrast couldn’t be clearer, which is why the Nevadans will reject Laxalt once again.
A visibly emotional Laxalt conceded this race to Governor Steve Sisolak on election night, regardless of his integrity.
Sisolak won the contest by nearly 40,000 votes and toppled Laxalt on his own home ground in the former Republican stronghold of Washoe County.
Cortez Masto, a first-term senator widely regarded as a moderate, should be an equally formidable campaign opponent. Notably because the 57-year-old Democrat was named chair of her party’s Senate campaign fundraising arm in 2018.
She entered her first Senate re-election campaign with a war chest of around $ 6 million. The latest figures for Laxalt’s fundraising campaign were not released late Friday afternoon.
GOP voters will not choose a candidate to take on Cortez Masto until June 2022.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
James DeHaven is the political reporter for the Reno Gazette Journal. It covers the countryside, the Nevada legislature and everything in between. Support his work by subscribing to RGJ.com right here.