Nevada Senate race set between Rosen and Brown

Democratic Sen. Jacky Rosen of Nevada and Republican challenger Sam Brown will face off in one of the most important Senate races of the 2024 election, with both winning their primaries Tuesday.

Senate Democrats are facing a difficult political landscape this fall, having to defend seats in the red states of Montana, Ohio and West Virginia as well as in several other swing states. So Rosen’s seat is crucial to the party’s hopes of holding on to its slim majority in the chamber.

Nevada is poised to play a key role in November’s elections, as Republicans aim to reverse years of Democratic dominance in federal races there. The last time the GOP won a Senate race in Nevada was 2012, and the party’s last presidential nominee to carry the state was George W. Bush in 2004. But Republicans flipped the governor’s office in 2022 and hope to build on those gains this year.

Brown, a retired Army captain who earned a Purple Heart when he was wounded by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan, unsuccessfully sought the GOP nomination for the state’s other Senate seat in 2022. But national Republicans identified him as a top recruit this cycle, and he received a late endorsement from former President Donald Trump over the weekend.

In Tuesday’s primary, Brown defeated a field that included Jeff Gunter, a wealthy dermatologist who was Trump’s ambassador to Iceland and spent $2.2 million of his own money on ads casting himself as the former president’s real ally in the race and portraying Brown as beholden to Washington interests.

Brown ran about $840,000 worth of advertising ahead of the primary, but he’s also been supported by several outside groups that poured hundreds of thousands of dollars into the primary, including: Duty First Nevada PAC, which spent more than $900,000; the Republican Leadership Fund, which spent nearly $470,000; and Americans for Prosperity, the influential conservative organization funded by the Koch family, which spent about $420,000 on the race.

Brown’s ads have focused on his support for Trump’s agenda, particularly curbing illegal immigration. They also regularly highlight his decorated military service.

“As a veteran, I’ll never compromise America’s security. I’ll finish Trump’s wall and stop the invasion of the border. As a small-business owner, I’ll lower prices and make Trump’s tax cuts permanent,” Brown says in one ad.

Rosen’s campaign, meanwhile, has already aired $7.5 million in TV ads. She had $10.2 million in her campaign coffers as of May 22 compared with $2.5 million for Brown.

Rosen’s ads have sought to portray the senator as a moderate, invoking her support for measures that would lower prescription drug prices and give health care benefits to veterans exposed to toxic burn pits. They also cast Rosen as breaking with Democratic leadership on border security.

“Six years ago, I promised to do what’s right for Nevada, not my party leaders. I won’t walk the party line and I never have. I’m proud to be named one of the most bipartisan senators,” Rosen says in one ad.

Rosen was first elected to the Senate in 2018, unseating Republican incumbent Dean Heller. She previously served a single term in the House representing a Las Vegas-area swing seat.

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