Sundays are for church, golf, football and… candidate filings? Late Sunday night, former Attorney General Adam Laxalt confirmed what was long surmised - he has filed the official paperwork to challenge US Senator Catherine Cortez Masto in 2022. This did not come as a huge surprise, as just the day before, Senator Tom Cotton (R- AR) announced Laxalt’s intention to run during the sixth annual Basque Fry festival in Gardnerville, a popular stop for GOP candidates and officials during campaign season. Laxalt joins Sam Brown and Sharelle Mendenhall in the Republican primary race.
Numerous political outlets and pundits have categorized Cortez Masto’s seat as one of the key races that will determine which party controls the Senate after 2022. Last month, The Cook Political Report recategorized Cortez Masto’s seat from “Likely D” to “Lean D”, joining other highly competitive races, like Scott Kelly in Arizona and Raphael Warnock in Georgia. Laxalt’s official candidacy announcement is sure to add some excitement to an already competitive race, but will he be able to win over Nevadans? In 2016, Cortez Masto defeated Republican Joe Heck by 2.4 percentage points; both Hilary Clinton and Joe Biden won Nevada in 2016 and 2020, respectively, by the same margin and Laxalt lost the 2018 gubernatorial election by 4.1 points. As of July 2021, there are nearly 100,000 more residents registered as Democrats than as Republicans but perhaps the real focus should be on the non-partisans, the fastest growing “party” in Nevada, making up 26% of the electorate.
Lt. Gov. May Resign for Position in Biden Administration
Lt. Gov. Marshall at the 2019 Nevada Day Parade. (Photo by Tom Clark.)
The shakeup of Nevada's executive branch continues. According to The Nevada Independent, Lieutenant Governor Kate Marshall plans to resign from her position as Nevada's second in command and accept a position in the Biden Administration as the White House's senior adviser to governors. This news comes just one week after Governor Sisolak announced former state senator Yvanna Cancela will serve as his chief of staff beginning September 1st.
The Lieutenant Governor's office is up for election in 2022. Under Nevada law, the Governor may appoint someone of the same party to fill the position or can simply remain vacant until the 2022 election.