Trump Endorses Sam Brown in Nevada’s Key Senate Race

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Former President Donald J. Trump on Sunday said he was endorsing Sam Brown, the Army veteran who is leading the crowded Republican primary field in Nevada’s U.S. Senate race.

“Sam Brown is a fearless American patriot,” Mr. Trump wrote in a post on his social media site, Truth Social, adding that Mr. Brown would “fight tirelessly” to protect the border and improve the economy.

The endorsement, though belated — the primary is on June 11 and early voting has already ended — solidifies Mr. Brown’s standing as the front-runner and heavy favorite to advance to November’s general election against Senator Jacky Rosen, the Democratic incumbent. He has raised more money than his primary rivals, received the endorsement of the state’s Republican governor, Joe Lombardo, and led by double-digits in every recent poll of the race, though most were commissioned by his own campaign.

Mr. Trump’s opinion was the sole remaining question mark. Though he is campaigning as a strong supporter of the former president, Mr. Brown was late to formally back Mr. Trump’s bid for a second term, and his primary rivals sought to capitalize from the right. Jeff Gunter, a wealthy dermatologist and Mr. Trump’s ambassador to Iceland, staked out a position as a MAGA candidate, slamming Mr. Brown in television advertisements as he angled for a possible endorsement from Mr. Trump.

Mr. Trump has shared images promoting Mr. Brown’s dominance in Nevada polls on Truth Social, and he praised both Mr. Brown and Jim Marchant, a former state assemblyman and prominent election denier who is also running for Senate, in an interview with a local television station in late May.

In a post on X, Mr. Brown said he was “honored” to have Mr. Trump’s endorsement. “I look forward to working with you to bring a better future to every Nevadan and American when we both win in November,” Mr. Brown said.

Ms. Rosen’s campaign assailed the endorsement from Mr. Trump on Sunday.

“Nevadans want a Senator who will work across party lines to deliver for our state, not a MAGA extremist like Sam Brown who will always put partisan politics and pleasing Trump ahead of doing what’s right,” said Johanna Warsaw, a spokeswoman for Ms. Rosen’s campaign.

Mr. Brown, a former Army captain, was nearly killed in Afghanistan in 2008 when his vehicle ran over an explosive device set by the Taliban. Severely burned, he was evacuated to a burn unit in the United States and underwent more than 30 surgeries during a three-year recovery. The injury left him permanently scarred.

He ran unsuccessfully for a seat in the Texas House of Representatives in 2014, before moving with his wife to Reno in 2018. In 2022, he lost in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate to Adam Laxalt, the state’s former attorney general. Mr. Laxalt was defeated in the general election by Senator Catherine Cortez Masto, whose victory allowed Democrats to keep control of the chamber.

Assuming Mr. Brown advances to the general election, he could be buoyed by Mr. Trump’s strong numbers in Nevada, which has not voted for a Republican at the presidential level since 2004 but is shaping up to be one of President Biden’s shakiest states in November.

Nevada’s economy, heavily reliant on tourism, was slower to recover from the coronavirus pandemic than other states were, and Ms. Rosen has sought to distance herself from Mr. Biden as she tries to retain her Senate seat.

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