Eyes On The Fries: John L. Smith Digests Laxalt's Bid For Senate


Associated Press

New Senate candidate and former Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt.

Former Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt served up some red meat for the base at the state Republican’s annual Basque Fry in Reno. 

Accompanied by former Trump Administration official Richard Grenell and possible 2024 GOP presidential candidate Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas, Laxalt confirmed last weekend he would challenge Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto in next year’s election.

The news “really wasn't much of a secret in political circles,” said State of Nevada contributor John L. Smith, who added the Laxalt-Cortez Masto race looks to be the state’s “marquee race” next year and could help determine which party controls the Senate.

“It'll be watched by the national press,” Smith said, “Stories broke immediately once Laxalt made his announcement. So it's a big race.”

Laxalt, whose grandfather represented Nevada in the Senate, “has a big family name up north,” Smith said. Cortez Masto, also a former state attorney general, is finishing her first term in the Senate.

In other GOP news, Smith described just-announced gubernatorial candidate and six-year Nevada resident Guy Nohra as “the kind of guy who describes himself as an outsider, which basically means as an unknown or political neophyte.”

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Nohra, a Lebanon-born venture capitalist, said in a statement that "as your next governor, I will fight side-by-side with you to take our state back from the leftist-career politicians in Carson City. And together, we will turn Nevada around."

Smith said Nohra “would not be the first wealthy candidate to run for a high office in Nevada. That's happened a number of times in the past few decades. However, they tend to not run all that well”

Nohra joins a crowded Republican primary field that includes Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo, North Las Vegas Mayor John Lee, and Reno attorney Joey Gilbert. Smith said both Rep. Mark Amodei and former Sen. Dean Heller “chatted up an interest in running” as well.


John L. Smith, contributor, State of Nevada

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