After draining much of his campaign war chest during a testy primary race, Democratic governor nominee Steve Sisolak appears ready to spend once again.
Sisolak’s campaign on Saturday launched its first pair of ads of the general election cycle, with separate spots running in the Las Vegas and Reno television markets.
The Las Vegas ad, which the campaign described as a “substantial” six-figure buy, hits Republican Attorney General Adam Laxalt for opposing legislation passed by the Republican-controlled Legislature in 2015 aimed at increasing funding for education in Nevada.
The Sisolak campaign spent an unprecedented $6.5 million to fend off fellow Clark County Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani in the June primary, significantly depleting his campaign coffers as he headed into the showdown with Laxalt, who looked to have the financial edge between the two campaigns.
The Sisolak ad rollout comes while Laxalt’s campaign and national groups like the Republican Governors Association have ramped up their air time with ads attacking Sisolak. Meanwhile, Democratic-leaning groups like the Democratic Governors Association and Priorities USA have launched ads going after Laxalt.
Sisolak’s ad airing in Las Vegas praises outgoing Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval for his push to increase funding for Nevada schools via the 2015 commerce tax. Laxalt has said on multiple occasions that he wants to repeal the tax.
“When Gov. Sandoval did the right thing and increased funding to reduce overcrowding and give teachers a raise, Adam Laxalt opposed it,” Sisolak says in the ad, before going on to say he’d reduce overcrowding and give increase teacher pay if elected.
The ad comes just over a week after the term-limited Sandoval, who consistently ranks among the nation’s most popular governors, said he would not endorse anyone in the governor’s race.
Laxalt’s campaign called the ad a “desperate attack” and said that Sisolak could have helped fix the education woes during his time on the county commission.
“Adam Laxalt has pledged never to let school funding decrease, to reward our hard-working teachers, and to give our students the opportunity to succeed — regardless of ZIP code or income. This is just another desperate attack from a career politician who is passing the buck for his own failure,” Laxalt campaign spokesman Parker Brinden said in a statement.