Trump backs Sam Brown in US Senate race, widening momentum gap in crowded Nevada GOP field

Retired Army Captain was endorsed by former president Donald Trump. Sam Brown for the Nevada U.S. Senate Race on Sunday. The former president chose a candidate who was widely viewed as the frontrunner in a crowded field of candidates that had angled themselves to align with him.

Trump announced his endorsement on Truth Social, after spending the day in Las Vegas at a rally where several GOP Senate candidates attended. He called Brown a “FEARLESS AMERICAN PATRON” and noted that he had received the Purple Heart. He said Brown would “fight relentlessly” to achieve several of his goals, including border security and economic growth.

The Republican winner will be facing Nevada Democratic U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen. Jacky is a moderate first-term senator who has been a top target for Republicans in 2024.

The Nevada race is seen by Republicans as an opportunity to pick up seats that could decide which party controls U.S. Senate. Democrats have a 51-49 advantage but face a difficult 2024 Senate map. They must defend incumbents in both red states – Montana, Ohio and West Virginia – as well as in several swing states like Nevada.

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Trump selected Brown over other candidates who had close ties with the former president. Jeff Gunter, Trump’s former ambassador in Iceland, campaigned as “110% pro Trump” and described Brown as an establishment choice because he was endorsed by U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell.

Jim Marchant ran in 2022 as a Republican candidate to become Nevada Secretary of State on a platform that was based on election denialism, spurred by Trump’s false claims about widespread election fraud. He introduced Trump to the audience in 2022 when the former President visited Nevada for a rallying of supporters ahead of tight midterm elections.

This endorsement puts Brown even further ahead of his competitors in terms national support. Brown’s opponents have long been criticizing Brown for not attending primary debates. Trump did the same thing when he was polling well ahead of Brown in the presidential primaries.

Brown was heavily recruited by Republicans in Washington to help them avoid a repeat performance of the midterm elections in 2022, where flawed GOP candidates had helped Democrats win the battleground races in order to hold the Senate majority.

Brown’s military service was at the center of his message in this election cycle as well as his failed Senate bid for 2022. He told many stories about the roadside explosion in Afghanistan which left him scarred and almost killed, as well the lessons he learned in leadership while serving in the Army.

Rosen criticised Brown on X after the endorsement, calling him her “extreme MAGA enemy” and mentioning issues such as abortion, health and social security.