close
close

Trump’s problematic record among Republican Senate candidates in Nevada • Nevada Current

In a week, convicted felon Donald Trump will be in Las Vegas for a fundraiser hosted by construction equipment magnate, Republican megadonor and full-fledged megaMAGA head Don Ahern. That’s three days before Election Day for the Nevada primaries, but of course voting has already started and many, perhaps most, people will have already voted at the June 8 fundraiser.

The Hill took note of the fundraiser in a story Last week the focus was on the fact that Trump did not endorse anyone in the Republican Senate primaries in Nevada.

Ahern without success urged Trump to stop endorsing Adam Laxalt two years ago in the Nevada Senate primary and instead endorsed Laxalt’s opponent, Sam Brown. Maybe Brown really impressed Ahern. On the other hand, Ahern is from a generation intimately familiar with the television character Eddie Haskell (google him, younger readers), whose smarmy insincerity Laxalt effortlessly channels. Too effortless.

This year, Trump did not endorse Brown or Trump’s hand-picked trainwreck of an ambassador to Iceland, Jeff Gunter, in the Senate primaries. (And while this is only worth mentioning by the way, Trump also hasn’t endorsed someone who, perhaps more than anyone else in the United States, has aspired to be Renfield to Trump’s Dracula, the tragic figure of Jim Marchant).

Trump could have endorsed the heavily favored Brown earlier and then taken credit for Brown’s widely expected primary victory, a pattern Trump is happy to follow.

Why didn’t he?

I’m going to speculate in vain.

Maybe Trump has just had it with the Republican Senate candidates in Nevada.

In October 2016, following Trump’s disgusting comments about the Access to Hollywood tape – “if you’re a star they’ll let you do it” etc. – became public, Nevada Republican Senate candidate Joe Heck was one of many Republican politicians across the country who relinquished their support for Trump. The following month, Heck lost to Catherine Cortez Masto by about the same number of votes that Trump lost Nevada to Hillary Clinton.

In June 2017, then-Sen. Dean Heller displeased Trump by voting against a bill to repeal Obamacare. A few days later, Heller got in line and voted for a so-called “skinny” repeal bill (that’s the bill that killed John McCain with one thumb). Heller spent the next seventeen months obsequiously fawning over Trump to get back into his good graces, with Trump belittling and humiliating him all the while.

Heller ultimately lost his re-election bid to Jacky Rosen, one of two U.S. Senate seats that flipped from red to blue in 2018. Although Republicans retained control of the Senate after the 2018 elections, the significance of Heller’s loss was brought into sharp relief. two years later, when Democrats would gain control of the Senate with a 50-50 tie and Vice President Kamala Harris as the tiebreaker.

In 2022, Trump had what he probably thought was a dream Senate run for Nevada. Adam Laxalt co-chaired Trump’s campaign in Nevada in 2020, and more importantly, he was THE Nevada face of the Big Lie leading up to the 2020 election and in the weeks following. Exactly the kind of Senate candidate Trump could support. And Trump was behind him wholeheartedly. And Laxalt lost.

So Trump might think Nevada’s Senate races are cursed for his purposes. Maybe he didn’t endorse anyone in this year’s Republican primaries because he didn’t want to get him again.

But Trump may have been too busy lately pushing his lawyers to take up the case least effective trial defense Possibly they could, and couldn’t be bothered to support a candidate, even a heavily favored one, in the Nevada Senate primary.

But maybe it is something very different.

A version of this column was originally published in the Daily Current newsletter, which is free and can be subscribed to here.

Back To Top