Trump ally Adam Laxalt files to challenge Cortez Masto in Nevada

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Former Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt (R) filed paperwork on Sunday to challenge Sen. Catherine Cortez MastoCatherine Marie Cortez MastoBiden yet to nominate new FDA chief even as delta surges Cornyn cuts a deal with White House on COVID-19 money for infrastructure White House trying to beat back bipartisan Cornyn infrastructure amendment MORE (D) in Nevada, setting the scene for a competitive race as both parties look to secure control of the upper chamber in next year’s midterm elections.

Laxalt, an ally of former President TrumpDonald TrumpMcConnell slams Biden’s ‘botched exit’ from Afghanistan Graham told Biden attacks on Hunter didn’t satisfy Trump supporters: report Beltway reporting of Afghanistan withdrawal a disservice to Americans MORE, served as Nevada’s attorney general from 2015 until 2019. He launched a bid for the governorship in 2018 but ultimately lost to Gov. Steve SisolakSteve SisolakThese states are requiring vaccines or testing for government workers Nevada Gov. Sisolak orders K-12 students in Las Vegas, Reno to wear masks Public option critical to legacy of ACA MORE (D) by roughly 4 percentage points.

He turned heads in 2014 when he became the country’s youngest attorney general after being elected at age 35, according to The Associated Press.

Laxalt, a 42-year-old attorney and Navy veteran, comes from a political family. His father is former Sen. Pete Domenici (R-N.M.), and his grandfather is former Nevada Gov. and Sen. Paul Laxalt (R), the AP reported.

He served as the co-chairman of Trump’s campaign in Nevada and was reportedly part of the former president’s efforts to overturn President BidenJoe BidenInternational community calls for ‘safe and orderly departure’ of foreign nationals and Afghans Taliban seize power as Washington debates what went wrong Toll from Haiti earthquake jumps to almost 1,300 dead, 5,700 injured MORE’s victory in Nevada.

Laxalt’s filing comes after Sen. Tom CottonTom Bryant CottonTom Cotton calls on Biden to ‘destroy every Taliban fighter’ near Kabul Biden sending 1,000 more troops to Afghanistan GOP lawmakers step up criticism of Biden on Afghanistan MORE (R-Ark.) told a crowd of Republicans on Saturday that the former attorney general was planning a Senate bid to challenge Cortez Masto.

“Adam, I guess he’s not supposed to say that he’s going to be your next United States senator. There’s some campaign finance rules against it. But what do I care about some stupid rules like that? Adam Laxalt is going to the United States Senate for the Battle Born State in 2022,” Cotton said at Laxalt’s sixth annual Basque Fry, according to the AP.

Laxalt, however, remained tight-lipped about a potential run for the Senate, telling the Republicans gathered at the event, “The people are ready to stand with us. Our state is ready to fight against this. Americans are ready to fight against this” during remarks about crime rates and social media platforms that are “ruthlessly enforcing the ruling elite’s worldview on everything from COVID to election integrity.”

The event has reportedly become an essential stop for political hopefuls mulling a presidential run who are looking to increase their name recognition.

Democrats have been successful in the past two Nevada Senate races, the AP reported, but they have won seats by less than 5 points.

A spokesperson for the Nevada Democratic Victory group supporting Cortez Masto responded to Laxalt’s filing, calling the former attorney general “Donald Trump’s main lackey.”

“As Attorney General, he used his office to benefit his special interest donors, and he became Donald Trump’s main lackey in Nevada by orchestrating bogus lawsuits to prop up the Big Lie and overturn the 2020 election. While Senator Cortez Masto is putting Nevadans first, Laxalt is only ever looking out for himself,” Andy Orellana said in a statement to The Hill.

Laxalt will have to face Army veteran Sam Brown in a Republican primary before potentially taking on Cortez Masto, according to the wire service.

The Hill reached out to Cortez Masto’s office for comment.

— Updated 11:13 p.m.

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