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Trump ally Adam Laxalt wins Nevada's Republican U.S. Senate primary

Former Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt won the state's U.S. Senate GOP primary Tuesday. He will face Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto in one of November's closely watched races.
John Locher
/
AP
Former Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt won the state's U.S. Senate GOP primary Tuesday. He will face Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto in one of November's closely watched races.

Adam Laxalt, a former Nevada attorney general, won the Republican U.S. Senate primary in the state Tuesday, according to a race call from The Associated Press.

He will take on incumbent Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto in November in a high-stakes race as Democrats try to hold on to their slim majority in the upper chamber.

Laxalt was a frontrunner in polls consistently through the primary and defeated several others, led by businessman and retired Army Capt. Sam Brown.

In recent weeks, Brown began to pick up steam, and had outraised Laxalt in small-dollar donations, but Laxalt's support from former President Donald Trump and other notable Republicans like Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis helped propel him to the top.

He also has relatively strong name recognition, as the grandson of a former Nevada senator, Paul Laxalt, and having served in a statewide position before. Laxalt also had a failed bid for governor in 2018 while he was serving as attorney general.

Laxalt, who was a Nevada co-chair of Trump's 2020 campaign, has been an outspoken supporter of Trump's lie that the 2020 election was stolen from him.

In the aftermath of the presidential election, Laxalt continued to say the results were rigged and that the legal challenges against the election, which he helped lead, were unsuccessful because they were filed too late.

Last week, Trump held a call with Laxalt supporters and emphasized the need to turn out for his chosen candidate; during the call, Laxalt referred to Trump as the current president.

Looking ahead to November, Republicans are eyeing a few potential wins in Nevada, a state President Biden won in 2020 by just over 2 percentage points. In addition to the Senate race, Republicans have strong chances at ousting Democrats from three congressional seats and the governor's office, and winning an open secretary of state race.

According to reporting from Politico, the National Republican Senatorial Committee has reserved $3 million in ads for Nevada, but its Democratic counterpart, the DSCC, has reserved nearly three times that amount.

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Nevada GOP Senate candidate Adam Laxalt and Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev.
/ David Becker/Getty Images; Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call via Getty Images
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David Becker/Getty Images; Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call via Getty Images
Nevada GOP Senate candidate Adam Laxalt and Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev.

Deepa Shivaram
Deepa Shivaram is a multi-platform political reporter on NPR's Washington Desk.