RENO — A national small business advocacy group announced its endorsement of U.S. Senate hopeful Adam Laxalt during a Reno event Tuesday.
The National Federation of Independent Business, represented by its state director, Randi Thompson, threw its support behind Laxalt because of “Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto’s voting record,” pointing to her support of the Inflation Reduction Act and unions.
“She voted with small businesses 21 percent of the time. That’s it,” Thompson said. “Her voting record is consistent. She is not supporting small businesses.”
Thompson said 8,162 small businesses have shuttered their doors following the COVID-19 shutdowns.
Laxalt said COVID-19 shutdowns and policies, including the Inflation Reduction Act, from President Joe Biden were to blame for the rising prices hurting small businesses.
“Five weeks ago, Senator [Cortez] Masto could have made the decision to not vote for the Inflation Reduction Act, but she voted for more spending when Nevada was already facing all-time highs,” he said.
Laxalt said one of the “most pernicious policies” in the Inflation Reduction Act was the funding of 87,000 new agents at the Internal Revenue Service, a claim repeated by Republicans following its passage. The bill calls for an uptick in employees at the agency, but a specific number was not written into the law.
“If I’m part of the majority, a 51 vote Senate and with the help of the house that we will defund those 87,000 IRS agents,” he said.
The former attorney general also pointed to crime as another issue causing difficulty for small businesses and touted the endorsement of several law enforcement groups his campaign has received.
“Senator [Cortez] Masto has said she believed law enforcement was systemically racist and needs to be reformed,” he said. “That’s why small businesses believe that a former top cop can do a better job of trying to keep our community and our small businesses safe.”
Laxalt has received endorsements from several law enforcement groups in the state, including the Nevada Fraternal Order of Police, the Public Safety Alliance of Nevada and the National Association of Police Organizations.
But he hasn’t received full support from the state’s law enforcement community. Cortez Masto has received law-enforcement backing, too, including from Nevada Association of Public Safety Officers and the Nevada Law Enforcement Coalition, as well as from the Nevada Police Union, which represents Highway Patrol troopers, capitol and university police and state parole and probation officers, and which announced its endorsement Tuesday.
Laxalt said he hadn’t spoken to NPU and instead pointed to his own endorsements.
“We are unquestionably the choice for law enforcement,” he said. “What she’s done is try to get a few very small union endorsements and then grab a few individuals to try to distort her record.”