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Laxalt blasts Cortez Masto, touts conservative credentials in first U.S. Senate campaign stop

The GOP senate hopeful urged a Reno audience to 'fight back' against Democrats' legislative agenda

James DeHaven Reno Gazette Journal October 1, 2021

Nevadans are fed up with the “radical left” and are ready to return a Republican to the U.S. Senate, GOP Senate front-runner Adam Laxalt told a crowd in Reno on Friday. Laxalt, the grandson of former Nevada Sen. Paul Laxalt and son of former New Mexico Sen. Pete Domenici, is looking to unseat Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto in one of the nation’s most closely watched Senate contests.

The 43-year-old Reno native dished up plenty of red meat in a brief speech delivered at his campaign kick-off, where he slammed everything from cancel culture and critical race theory to Black Lives Matter and the U.S. military’s recent exit from Afghanistan. “We can still get strong conservatives elected to go in and represent our values,” Laxalt told a crowd of several dozen supporters at Famous Dave’s Barbeque. “If we get me elected and take back the U.S. Senate, the Senate can stop the madness. The Senate can prevent the things (the left) are threatening every single day.”

“All of you can be the difference … We need to fight back. All of you can fight back.” In a departure from earlier stump speeches, Laxalt also bashed Cortez Masto for positioning herself as a moderate candidate despite toeing her party’s line on at least 85% of recent congressional votes.

Laxalt — who served as Nevada’s attorney general from 2015 to 2019 — has been one of the Silver State’s loudest proponents for ex-President Donald Trump.

In 2020, he co-chaired Trump's Nevada campaign, which mounted lawsuits in state and federal courts that challenged election rules and results. Laxalt has said the 2020 election was “rigged” and that the legal challenges failed because they were filed too late.

He has also insisted that ineligible and dead voters cast ballots, that laws adopted by the Democrat-led statehouse to send mail-in ballots to every active voter invited fraud and that Republican observers were prevented from seeing ballot counting or challenging signatures on mail-in ballots.

Laxalt had little to say about voting security in a brief post-event huddle with reporters on Friday, though he did reiterate his concerns about a Democrat-backed mail-in voting law that, among other things, allows Nevada voters to request that someone else hand in their ballot.

“We stood for election integrity in 2020 and I continue to think it’s a problem for our state,” he added. “And I’m not alone: 70 percent of Nevadans think our current mode of voting isn’t very safe.” GOP voters won’t pick a nominee to face Cortez Masto until June 2022.


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