Trump calls Nevada Senate candidate Sam Brown a ‘good man,’ but fails to gain support

Former President Trump praised Nevada Republican Senate candidate Sam Brown as a “good man” at his Sunday rally in Las Vegas, but refused to offer wholehearted support ahead of the primary Tuesday.

Trump attended a fundraiser on Saturday and spoke at a rally in the Silver State on Sunday, raising speculation that he might step in and make a last-minute pitch in support of Brown, who is running for office. Republican race to take on Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.) this fall.

Brown faces two Republican challengers in the Republican primary, with his strongest competitor being former U.S. Ambassador to Iceland Jeffrey Gunter, who served in the Trump administration.

But the former president only briefly mentioned the GOP primary during his speech, saying of the retired Army captain “you have a good man named Brown,” and he seemed to suggest he would win in November, describing him as “a senator named Brun.”

Nevada is the only state with a competitive Republican Senate primary in which Trump has refused to endorse a candidate.

Even though Brown is expected to defeat Gunter in the primary on Tuesday and has benefited from the support of Senate Republicans, the lack of support from the former president remains a blow to Brown who reportedly traveled to Florida earlier this year to gain support from Trump.

But it could also explain Trump’s decision to avoid weighing between a Senate Republican-backed candidate and a former official in his administration, Gunter, who is also a notable Republican donor. Trump attended a fundraiser Saturday hosted by Don Ahern, who also supported Gunter.

Nevada is considered one of a handful of states that will determine the race for the White House and control of the Senate. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) narrowly won re-election in 2022 against Republican Adam Laxalt, by less than a percentage point.

The Cook Political Report, a nonpartisan newspaper that handicaps elections, considers Rosen’s seat a “toss-up.”

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