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Takeaways: Big Trump win, election deniers advance in Nevada

Election 2022
Posted at 11:10 AM, Jun 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-15 14:15:41-04

WASHINGTON (AP) — ELECTION DENIERS ADVANCE IN NEVADA

Two Republican candidates who ardently pushed Trump's lies about voter fraud costing him the 2020 presidential election won nominations to top offices in Nevada on Tuesday.

Jim Marchant, a former state lawmaker, won the GOP nomination for secretary of state, the office that oversees elections in the perennial presidential battleground that Trump narrowly lost in both 2016 and 2020.

Marchant has made appearances around the country with other Trump allies, including MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, to cast doubt on the election results, despite the fact that courts, election officials from both parties and his own attorney general have said the vote was legitimate.

Marchant has also been working to persuade local officials to toss out voting equipment that he baselessly contends is rigged and instead require that all ballots be cast and counted by hand — an arduous and unnecessary task since testing is conducted before elections and audits are held afterward to ensure the votes are recorded accurately.

Marchant will face Democrat Cisco Aguilar in November. Aguilar is a lawyer and former chair of the Nevada Athletic Commission who was unopposed in the Democratic primary.

Adam Laxalt, the state's former attorney general, won the GOP nomination for U.S. Senate in Nevada on Tuesday after promoting Trump's lies about fraud in the state in the 2020 election, including spearheading legal challenges to the vote-counting process.

Laxalt, who was backed by the former president, weaved Trump's false claims of voter fraud throughout his campaign. He has already begun raising fears of voter fraud in this year's midterm elections and has talked about preemptively mounting legal challenges “to try to tighten up the election.”

He had insisted in 2020 that ineligible and dead voters cast ballots in the presidential election in Nevada, despite the state’s Republican secretary of state, Barbara Cegavske, insisting that the results showing Biden’s victory were accurate and reliable. Cegavske was prevented by term limit laws from running again.

RELATED: 2022 Nevada Primary Election Results

TRUMP, MCCONNELL ALIGN ON LAXALT IN NEVADA

Laxalt will face Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto in November in what Republicans see as one of their best chances to flip a seat and to win back control of the chamber.

Trump and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell don't agree on much. One rare exception is Laxalt, who won Nevada's Republican Senate primary.

The two Republican leaders haven't been on speaking terms since December 2020, when McConnell acknowledged that Biden defeated Trump. But they both endorsed Laxalt, who defeated retired Army Capt. Sam Brown, a West Point graduate and Purple Heart recipient who ran an unexpectedly strong campaign as a conservative outsider.

The mutual support, which brought together the Trump and establishment wings of the party, demonstrates the intense focus Republican have placed on flipping the seat held by first-term Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, who is considered among the most vulnerable senators.