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Republicans looking to unseat Nevada Sen. Rosen attack frontrunner

Senate Homeland Security
Greg Nash/Pool via AP
Sen. Jacky Rosen, D-Nev., speaks during a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing to discuss security threats 20 years after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021 on Capitol Hill in Washington.

Republicans looking to unseat U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen, a Democrat from Nevada, met in Reno this week. It was the state’s first debate of the 2024 election cycle.

The mostly cordial debate included multiple attacks on the Washington, D.C., establishment and the race’s frontrunner, former Army Captain Sam Brown.

The conservative group Redmove Nevada hosted the debate at the Atlantis Casino. It featured seven of the 10 candidates looking to get the Republican party’s nomination in Nevada’s June primary.

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Over the course of 90 minutes, candidates drew hard lines on issues such as abortion, immigration, public lands, fiscal conservatism, and foreign relations.

However, the candidates spent most of their time criticizing primary opponent Brown, who declined to participate in the debate.

Brown has already received the support of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, the campaign fundraising arm for Senate Republicans.

Carson City Doctor Fred Simon, who ran for governor in 2022, was among the candidates who said Brown hasn’t done enough to earn voter's support.

“Someone is not entitled not to come to a debate if they've done something. Tell me what this man has done in the last 10 years other than run for office.”

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Attendees, though, were still on the fence about who they’ll support in June.

Joni Hammond with Republican Women of Reno says she’s confident any of the Republican candidates will do a better job than Senator Rosen.

“That bar is so low with who we have currently in that position. It doesn't take much to do better than what she's doing.”

The state’s party primaries are Tuesday, June 11.

Paul serves as KNPR's producer and reporter in Northern Nevada. Based in Reno, Paul specializes in covering state government and the legislature.