ICYMI: “Donald Trump Looms Large Over Key Senate Contest in Nevada”

Brown facing “challenges from the right” over refusal to back Trump this cycle after previously embracing him in 2022

bombshell new report from the Messenger details the lengths to which Sam Brown has gone to paper over his previous support for Donald Trump and his MAGA agenda – and how he’s now “facing his own challenges from the right – including over his handling of Trump.” 

Brown has repeatedly dodged questions about his past support for Trump and whether he will endorse him in the GOP presidential primary. Meanwhile, Brown’s opponents have seized on his failure to back Trump this cycle – attacking him for being “supported by Mitch McConnell and the Koch Brothers” and accusing him of “trying to dance around the idea of Donald Trump or dance around the idea of America first.”

Read more about the GOP in-fighting below. 

The Messenger: Donald Trump Looms Large Over Key Senate Contest in Nevada
By Dan Merica

  • When veteran Sam Brown ran for Senate in 2022, he said he would welcome Donald Trump’s endorsement and ran a campaign labeling Adam Laxalt, the candidate the former president did endorse, as someone who didn’t support the president’s agenda as deeply as he did.
  • Two years later and Brown, now national Republicans’ preferred candidate to take on Democratic incumbent Sen. Jacky Rosen next year, isn’t prepared to give Trump his own endorsement as the former president runs for president again.
  • Brown has declined multiple times to say who he is supporting in the state’s Republican primary. While he has said is only focused on his own election, an adviser close to the Brown campaign told The Messenger that the Senate candidate won’t endorse in any Republican primary this cycle, including the presidential contest.
  • “Right now I’m focused on the Nevada Senate election,” he told KRNV on July 10 when asked who he backed in the Republican presidential primary. “The rest of all these other elections will… they’re going to sort themselves out.” A day later, when asked by radio host Kevin Wall whether he supports the “America First policies of Donald J. Trump,” Brown said, “I absolutely support America. Our priorities on America, it should be first. We are Americans, we are Nevadans.” And a day after that, The Nevada Independent reported that Brown declined to endorse Trump during an interview with the publication.
  • “I’m always gonna be America first,” Brown told Newsmax on July 19 when asked whether he considered himself “America First” or “MAGA”. “But I also want to let people know that I’m, I’m going to be a Nevada First leader as well.”
  • The careful positioning highlights both Trump’s changing status within the party, as well as a shift in Brown’s own political position, from an outsider challenging an establishment figure to the party’s preferred candidate facing his own challengers from the right.
  • “I would tell President Trump that with me as a future senator of Nevada, that I will carry the torch of America First values and priorities,” Brown told an interviewer in 2022 when asked what he would tell the former president after he endorsed Laxalt. “I’m a big supporter of the America First agenda,” he said later in the campaign. And a Las Vegas Review-Journal piece from 2021 reported that Brown said he would welcome Trump’s endorsement: “Nevada Republicans are ready for new conservative leadership that, like Donald Trump, doesn’t come from the political class.”
  • While Brown, a veteran of the war in Afghanistan who earned a Purple Heart for his service, was the outsider challenging an establishment figure in 2022, less than a year later and he is the party’s preferred candidate to take on Rosen. And he’s facing his own challenges from the right – including over his handling of Trump.
  • Jim Marchant, a former state assemblyman and one of the most vocal purveyors of the falsehood that the 2020 election was stolen from Trump, is also running for Senate. He has already endorsed Trump’s 2024 campaign, calling the former president “the ideal candidate.” 
  • And Jeffrey Ross Gunter, a Trump donor and the former president’s former ambassador to Iceland, is also considering a Senate bid in Nevada. Gunter recently posted on Trump’s preferred social media platform that Nevada is “Trump county.”
  • Both candidates have also faulted Brown for approaching Trump’s 2024 campaign with caution.
  • “In this primary, there is a clear choice between the candidates,” Marchant said on America Matters Media, an outlet in Northern Nevada. “You’ve got one that’s supported by Mitch McConnell and the Koch Brothers, and the establishment. And you’ve got me that’s supported by MAGA and America First and President Trump types. The choice could not be more clear.”
  • Gunter called Brown a “serial election loser” in a podcast interview and accused him of “trying to dance around the idea of Donald Trump or dance around the idea of America first.”


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