Members of Nevada senate candidate’s family endorse opponent

RENO, Nev. (AP) — Less than a month before Election Day, 14 members of Nevada Republican Senate candidate Adam Laxalt’s family sent a letter endorsing his opponent, Democratic U.S. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto.

“We staunchly believe that Catherine is well equipped with her own ‘Nevada grit’ — a quality that she will take forward in representation of our home state for six more years across the halls of Congress,” the letter states.

The letter, first obtained by The Nevada Independent, does not mention Laxalt by name.

Instead, it talks of Cortez Masto’s understanding of “the daily realities of dogged hard work” and mentions her experience in public education as well as her commitment to law enforcement.

The family members also wrote that Cortez Masto’s career demonstrates she is “an authentic advocate of Nevada.”

It marks the second time that some of Laxalt’s family has endorsed his opponent. During his unsuccessful gubernatorial run in 2018, a dozen family members endorsed Democrat Steve Sisolak in an op-ed to the Reno Gazette-Journal. That letter more explicitly criticized Laxalt, saying he “leveraged and exploited” the family name throughout his campaign.

That letter prompted 22 of his family members to send another op-ed, defending Laxalt and calling the other letter “vicious and entirely baseless.”

The grandson of former U.S. Sen. and Nevada Gov. Paul Laxalt and the son of former Sen. Pete Domenici, R-New Mexico, Laxalt is seen by many as the best opportunity for Republicans to pick up a seat that could give them the majority in the Senate.

In a tweet on Wednesday afternoon, Laxalt said it is “not surprising” that family members, most of whom he said are Democrats, are supporting Cortez Masto.

“They think that Nevada & our country are heading in the right direction. I believe Nevadans don’t agree,” he said.

The Laxalt family joins a growing list of endorsers from across the aisle, Cortez Masto spokesperson Sigalle Reshef said in a statement, citing law enforcement organizations and rural lawmakers who have endorsed the Democratic candidate.

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Stern is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues. Follow Stern on Twitter: @gabestern326.

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