GOP candidates stress urgency at annual Nevada cookout

GARDNERVILLE, Nev. (AP) — Standing before 1,500 Republicans on a rural ranch surrounded by the Sierra Nevada mountains, Nevada gubernatorial candidate Joe Lombardo referred to the “elephant in the room.” without naming it.

The second-place finisher in the gubernatorial primary, Reno attorney Joey Gilbert, has made unsubstantiated claims that the math count was wrong and has continued to attack Lombardo. Lombardo to this point has not directly addressed Gilbert, who requested a state count of the results and then archived a lawsuit that was shot last week. He also didn’t say Gilbert’s name on Saturday, but he acknowledged that “we haven’t met” since the primary.

“It doesn’t matter who you voted for, we have to get past that,” he said.

At the seventh annual Basque Fry, Republican heavyweights were eager to team up against incumbent Democrats in what has become an annual tradition held in rural Douglas County. The event, which includes live music, an inflatable rodeo and Basque cuisine, is modeled after Adam Laxalt’s grandfather and former Nevada Governor Paul Laxalt’s cookouts. The elder Laxalt was the son of Basque immigrants, and Adam now organizes the event with the Morning in Nevada PAC.

National and state politicians fired up the crowd with a message of urgency 80 days before the midterm elections that will decide which party controls both the State House in Carson City and Congress in Washington DC Speaking to reporters before taking the state, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz called Laxalt’s race “the best single opportunity for Republicans.”

“Part of the reason is that Adam was able to unify the GOP early,” Cruz said. “There are all kinds of different portions and flavors of Republicans state by state. And one of the challenges that we have in some of the other states is that we have candidates that went through pretty tough primaries, where there are still some hurt feelings.”

Some speakers pointed to the new IRS agents included in the Inflation Reduction Act as an example of government overreach, although the The number of IRA contract employees was often skewed. Others urged attendees to do even more than they had done in the campaign and not take the “red wave” for granted.

Several speakers, including Cruz and Laxalt, condemned the break-in at the Mar-a-Lago home of former President Donald Trump. Laxalt called it an example of “FBI weaponry” – a rallying cry that many Republican lawmakers have made last week to tap into voter outrage.

The main theme focused on unity in often very thin breeds.

“If we lose Nevada, we lose everything,” said author and conservative commentator Kurt Schlichter, adding that he was optimistic for the state after seeing Governor Glenn Youngkin’s victory in Virginia last November.

Behind the long tents around the stage was a set of smaller farmers’ market-like tents, selling merchandise and offering fliers for a conservative cause: a “Save Our Douglas Schools” tent for board member nominees County; Power2Parent tent advocating for school choice and against sex education; merchandise stands with cowboy hats reading “Trump Won” and “Texans for Trump,” along with T-shirts reading “Not My Dictator” featuring Joe Biden with a Photoshopped Hitler mustache.

Some politicians walked around the tents, interacting with supporters.

U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto’s campaign released a statement Saturday about the event, calling Laxalt the “face of the Big Lie,” a reference to when Laxalt spearheaded Trump’s Nevada 2020 campaign and subsequent legal challenges to the process. vote counting. .

“Laxalt is willing to break the rules, promising to file lawsuits early to help him gain power, because he is only looking out for his own interest, not Nevada,” spokesman Josh Marcus-Blank said.

Along with Cruz, headliners included Schlichter, South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem, and Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts, among others.

Noem, who gained notoriety among Republicans for defying federal mandates amid the pandemic, spoke about her upbringing in South Dakota, her father’s influence on her before he died while she was in college, and her philosophy for not joining. at the close of COVID-19. during 2020. he talked about the state’s zero corporate income tax and 4.5% sales tax.

“This can be your story,” he said. “Leadership has consequences.”

Laxalt was one of the last to take the stage and reflected on the Basque fry a year ago, a few days before he announced his candidacy for the Senate. He said that since then the left has taken over the media, big tech and the “ruling elites.” He spoke of the rise in crime in major cities and what he has often characterized as the border crisis. He called Masto Biden a “rubber stamp” for signing the Inflation Reduction Act and repeated that “the entire US Senate will depend on this race.”

“Do what you have done to help politics in the past, do more,” he told supporters. “We need you now more than ever.”

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Stern is a staff member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercover issues.

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