cloudyn.png
Tuesday August 16th, 2022 9:51PM

Long lines in Nevada as Republicans pick key Senate nominee

By The Associated Press

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Republicans in Nevada were deciding Tuesday between a candidate with a political pedigree and former President Donald Trump's backing and a political newcomer as their choice to try to unseat one of the most vulnerable Democratic senators in the country this fall.

The primary race was originally expected to be a cakewalk for Adam Laxalt, one of Nevada's most prominent Republicans who has already won statewide office and attracted support from both Trump and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell.

Yet in the final weeks before Tuesday's U.S. Senate primary, Nevada's former attorney general faced a surprisingly spirited challenge from Sam Brown. A retired Army captain and Purple Heart recipient, Brown has appeared before swelling crowds drawn to his profile as a political outsider. He bolstered his campaign with strong fundraising numbers, particularly among small-dollar donors who often represent the party's grassroots.

Long lines kept some polling places open in Clark County, where about three-quarters of the state's population lives, after polls were officially slated to close at 7 p.m. local time.

Across the country in South Carolina, Rep. Tom Rice, one of 10 Republicans who supported Trump's second impeachment, lost his South Carolina primary Tuesday in another sign of Trump’s enduring hold on his party. The former president endorsed Rice's rival, state Rep. Russell Fry, and traveled to the district earlier this year to support Fry.

But much of the attention Tuesday was on Nevada, where the winner in a GOP Senate contest would go on to face Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto in what may be the GOP's best opportunity to flip a Senate seat and regain control of the chamber.

Despite the intrigue surrounding the race, many Republicans still see Laxalt as best positioned to win the nomination, in no small part because of Trump's backing.

“President Trump is the most popular Republican official in America by a long shot,” said Corry Bliss, a Republican strategist who works on campaigns around the U.S. “If you have his endorsement and you have resources to advertise that, you should win.”

Republicans in Nevada were also choosing a nominee to challenge Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak. Elsewhere, Republicans in South Carolina were weighing whether to support two U.S. House members who have crossed Trump. And two longtime rivals in Maine were poised to advance to what will likely be one of the most competitive governor's races in the U.S. this fall.

Still, Nevada's Senate race is the highest-profile contest Tuesday.

Laxalt is well-known in the state for having served for four years as Nevada’s attorney general and campaigned unsuccessfully for governor in 2018. He's also the grandson of former U.S. Sen. Paul Laxalt.

And perhaps most importantly in GOP circles, he's got ties to Trump. Laxalt worked on Trump's reelection campaign and promoted his lies about election fraud in the state after the 2020 election. Trump in turn hosted Laxalt for a fundraiser at his Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida, and appeared in a campaign ad for Laxalt.

But the party’s anti-establishment base has muscled behind Brown, who was badly burned by an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan and has highlighted his personal story in his outsider crusade.

“I wasn’t born into power,” Brown declared in a recent campaign ad in which he recounted how he nearly died in Afghanistan. He then smiles, saying, “It turns out I’m hard to kill.”

Brown, to the surprise of many in the state, won the endorsement of the Nevada Republican Party at a convention vote in late April and a straw poll of the Las Vegas-area GOP at a May gathering. Recent polls have shown him closing in on Laxalt, though the state, with a transient population and many late-shift workers due to the state’s tourism and casino industry, is considered fickle for pollsters.

Though Laxalt is still considered the favorite to win, both candidates are expected to have a similar chance in November at defeating Cortez Masto, who is expected to handily win her party’s endorsement over several little-known competitors.

“I imagine that Laxalt would be a stronger candidate in the general than Brown, but I don’t think it’s a substantial difference," said Kenneth Miller, an assistant professor of political science at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

That's because Cortez Masto, the first Latina elected to the Senate and successor of the late Sen. Harry Reid, is considered one of the most vulnerable Democrats running for reelection this year.

Democrats broadly are facing headwinds this year, burdened by an unpopular president and rising costs. In Nevada, high prices for gas are acutely felt by residents of Las Vegas’ sprawling suburbs or those commuting from far-flung rural areas.

Those same factors could imperil the reelection of Sisolak, whose Republican challenger will emerge from Tuesday’s primary.

In the Nevada governor’s race, Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo is considered the favorite in a crowded field and has earned the coveted endorsement from Trump.

The former president notably snubbed another Republican candidate in the race, former U.S. Sen. Dean Heller, who was once a critic of Trump's and earned a public scolding from the then-president.

Also challenging Lombardo is Joey Gilbert, a northern Nevada lawyer and former professional boxer who was outside the U.S. Capitol when it was stormed on Jan. 6, 2021. Like Brown in the Senate race, Gilbert has picked up support from the party’s base.

Trump’s false claims of fraud in the 2020 election are laced throughout some of Tuesday’s contests, including what’s normally a little-watched race for Nevada secretary of state. Republican Barbara Cegavske, who was censured by the Nevada GOP for declaring there was no fraud and defending the results as accurate, is term-limited. A crowded field of Republicans who have embraced “election integrity” concerns to varying degrees are vying to replace her.

___

Price reported from Washington.

___

Follow AP for full coverage of the midterms at https://apnews.com/hub/2022-midterm-elections and on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ap_politics.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News, AP Elections, General Senate Election News, AP Elections - Campaigns
© Copyright 2022 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Long lines in Nevada as Republicans pick key Senate nominee
A Nevada Republican with a political pedigree and the backing of former President Donald Trump and the GOP establishment is facing a surprisingly strong primary challenge
11:08PM ( 23 minutes ago )
GOP's Rice loses House seat after voting to impeach Trump
U.S. Rep. Tom Rice of South Carolina has been ousted from Congress in his Republican primary after voting to impeach Donald Trump over the Jan. 6 insurrection
11:06PM ( 25 minutes ago )
Texas pastor Bart Barber elected Southern Baptist president
The Southern Baptist Convention has elected a new president — Texas pastor Bart Barber
11:03PM ( 28 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Election 2022: Nevada GOP contest crucial to Senate control
A Nevada Republican with a political pedigree and the backing of former President Donald Trump and the GOP establishment is facing a surprisingly strong primary challenge
9:58PM ( 1 hour ago )
US Reps. Mace, Rice face GOP voters after defying Trump
Two South Carolina Republicans who angered former President Donald Trump by not kowtowing to his wishes are locked in tough congressional primary elections against candidates he endorsed
9:02PM ( 2 hours ago )
Jan. 6 hearings: What we've learned, and what's next
House investigators are trying to make a methodical case that President Donald Trump’s lies about the 2020 election led directly to the insurrection by his supporters at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021
9:00PM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
House OKs security boost for Supreme Court judges, families
The House has given final approval to legislation to allow around-the-clock security protection for families of Supreme Court justices
4:33PM ( 6 hours ago )
1/6 panel postpones hearing with ex-Justice Dept. officials
The House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021 riot at the U.S. Capitol has postponed a hearing that was to feature Trump-era Justice Department officials
3:39PM ( 7 hours ago )
Reps. Mace, Rice face hard GOP primaries after defying Trump
Two Republican House incumbents in South Carolina who have drawn the ire of former President Donald Trump now find themselves facing tough primary challenges Tuesday
3:06PM ( 8 hours ago )
AP Online Congress News
GOP commission refuses to certify New Mexico primary vote
Votes in a New Mexico community are at risk of not counting after a Republican-led commission refused to approve primary election results over distrust of Dominion vote-tallying machines
8:40PM ( 2 hours ago )
Jan. 6 panel hears: Trump 'detached from reality' in defeat
Donald Trump’s closest campaign advisers, top government officials and even his family were systematically dismantling his false claims of 2020 election fraud ahead of the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol
9:52PM ( 1 day ago )
Southern Baptists who backed open abuse review win key roles
The top administrative committee for the Southern Baptist Convention has elected new leaders
6:59PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Elections
Trump endorses Katie Britt in Alabama Senate race
Former President Donald Trump has endorsed Katie Britt in the Republican primary for an Alabama U.S. Senate seat
2:17AM ( 3 days ago )
Roy Moore seeks to revive lawsuit against Sacha Baron Cohen
A lawyer for Roy Moore is trying to persuade three federal judges to revive a $95 million lawsuit the former Alabama candidate for U.S. Senate brought against comedian Sacha Baron Cohen
6:49PM ( 4 days ago )
Big Tech attacks become rallying cry for GOP candidates
Republicans are pushing an anti-Big Tech message in the midterm campaigns as they look to tap into the resentment toward large technology companies that increasingly courses through their party
4:27PM ( 5 days ago )
General Senate Election News
Jan. 6 panel: Trump ex-campaign manager no longer testifying
Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Bill Stepien has abruptly pulled out of an appearance before the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol
9:31AM ( 1 day ago )
Trump campaign manager no longer testifying, 1/6 panel says
Donald Trump’s former campaign manger Bill Stepien has abruptly pulled out of an appearance before the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol
9:19AM ( 1 day ago )
1/6 panel to hear Trump campaign manager, probe election lie
The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol is delving deeper into what it calls “the big lie,” Donald Trump’s false claims of voter fraud
7:16AM ( 1 day ago )
AP Elections - Campaigns
GOP's Rice loses House seat after voting to impeach Trump
U.S. Rep. Tom Rice of South Carolina has been ousted from Congress in his Republican primary after voting to impeach Donald Trump over the Jan. 6 insurrection
11:06PM ( 26 minutes ago )
Texas pastor Bart Barber elected Southern Baptist president
The Southern Baptist Convention has elected a new president — Texas pastor Bart Barber
11:03PM ( 28 minutes ago )
A strike away: Mikolas just short of no-hitter for Cardinals
Miles Mikolas was one strike from a no-hitter when he gave up a double to Cal Mitchell with two outs in the ninth inning, and the St. Louis Cardinals routed the Pittsburgh Pirates 9-1 to sweep a doubleheader
11:02PM ( 30 minutes ago )
Southern Baptists agree to keep list of accused sex abusers
The Southern Baptist Convention has voted overwhelmingly to create a way to track pastors and other church workers credibly accused of sex abuse
10:50PM ( 42 minutes ago )
So close: Mikolas' no-hit bid broken up with 2 outs in 9th
Miles Mikolas fell one strike short of a no-hitter for the St. Louis Cardinals against Pittsburgh when Cal Mitchell doubled with two outs in the ninth inning
10:45PM ( 47 minutes ago )