Former Nevada state Attorney General Adam Laxalt officially launched a campaign for Senate on Tuesday, becoming the most prominent Republican to say he’ll run against Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) in a perennial swing state.
“The radical left, rich elites, woke corporations, academia and the media — they’re taking over America,” Laxalt says in a culture war-heavy video announcing his campaign.
All about Adam: Laxalt 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 sought in 2018, when he was defeated by Democrat Steve Sisolak by roughly 4 percentage points.
Forgoing a rematch with Sisolak, 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.
Democrats are on a long winning streak in Nevada. The GOP hasn’t carried the state at the presidential level since 2004, and Republicans have won only one statewide race since 2015.
Still, the state is closely contested. Now-President Joe Biden won the state by just 2 points last year — similar to Hillary Clinton’s margin of victory in 2016.
The rest of the field: Laxalt doesn’t have the GOP field to himself. Also in the race are retired Army veteran Sam Brown and business owner Sharelle Mendenhall.
But Laxalt starts as the overwhelming favorite to win the nomination. He has been talked up by numerous GOP figures, including Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.), the National Republican Senatorial chair. Just this past weekend, at the Laxalt-hosted annual Basque Fry, a GOP cattle call in rural Nevada, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) both expressed support for Laxalt’s then-likely candidacy.