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Trump appears with Lombardo, Laxalt at Northern Nevada rally

Updated October 9, 2022 - 5:30 pm

MINDEN — Former President Donald Trump attacked Democrats in Nevada and criticized an FBI raid on his Florida home while stumping for Silver State Republican hopefuls at a rally on Saturday evening.

Guests at the Trump rally included Republicans U.S. Senate candidate Adam Laxalt, gubernatorial hopeful Sheriff Joe Lombardo, state treasurer nominee Michele Fiore, would-be attorney general Sigal Chattah and secretary of state contender Jim Marchant.

Trump took the stage in Minden after remarks from Laxalt and Lombardo, both of whom have already secured the former president’s endorsement.

Trump denounced Gov. Steve Sisolak and Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto briefly during his speech, calling Sisolak “a disaster” and said Cortez Masto “hasn’t done a thing.”

“Under Steve Sisolak, your crime-loving governor and the radical left Democrats, the streets of our once great cities are drenched in the blood of innocent victims,” Trump said while referencing a Las Vegas Strip stabbing that left two dead earlier this week.

Trump also slammed Cortez Masto for being “a rubber stamp” for President Joe Biden.

It wasn’t Trump’s first rally at the Minden-Tahoe airport. The former president spoke at an event held in the same place a little over two years ago. The event, which was attended by thousands of supporters, led to state officials issuing Douglas County more than $5,000 in fines for violating state COVID-19 restrictions.

The event came exactly two weeks before the beginning of early voting in Nevada and could mean the difference in tight races for some of the state’s top spots.

Laxalt, the state’s former attorney general, is running against Cortez Masto in one of the most closely watched races in the nation, with many polls placing the race within the margin of error.

Lombardo is running against Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak. They faced off for the first, and likely last time, during a debate in Las Vegas on Oct. 2, hosted by the nonprofit online website The Nevada Independent.

During the debate, Lombardo declined to say Trump was a “great president.”

“I wouldn’t use that adjective. I think he was a sound president,” Lombardo said. Later, his campaign walked back the remark in a release that said Trump was a great president by “all measures.”

Lombardo again walked back the comment during his remarks prior to Trump’s arrival.

“We’re here to rally for the Republican ticket, and who’s going to help us?” he said. “The greatest president, right? Donald J. Trump. I’m going to say it to you all upfront. I want to thank him from the bottom of my heart for being here today and helping us achieve what we’re trying to achieve.”

The Republican candidate for governor slammed his opponent for inflation, education and Second Amendment rights.

“What do you think would happen if he got re-elected? First order of business: They go after your guns,” he said. “We’re going to prevent that from happening.”

Laxalt, who was introduced by Alabama U.S. Sen. Tommy Tuberville, focused the majority of his remarks on his opponent, Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto.

“Senator Masto, with the help of the media, and tons and tons of money, she does what Democrats do all over the country. She’ll do and say whatever it takes to win,” the former attorney general said.

Laxalt went on to slam Cortez Masto for the U.S. lack of energy independence and the “open border.”

In an emailed statement sent before the rally began, Cortez Masto again linked her opponent to the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

“Adam Laxalt led the fight to overturn Nevada’s 2020 election for Donald Trump, and now he’s once again standing with the defeated former president instead of the people of Nevada,” she said in an emailed statement. “The baseless lies that Laxalt and Trump pushed inspired a violent attack on our Capitol and law enforcement, and neither one of them has shown remorse. Laxalt will do whatever it takes to gain power because he’s only out for himself.”

Despite fronting for the election challenging lawsuits filed by Trump lawyers in 2020, Laxalt recently acknowledged in an interview with the Review-Journal editorial board that Joe Biden won the election and was the legitimate president.

A spokesperson with Gov. Steve Sisolak’s campaign likened Lombardo’s appearance with the former president as a “desperate attempt to change the subject.”

“Whether it’s on abortion or Donald Trump, Lombardo has consistently shown that he will do or say anything to win, including lying to Nevadans whenever it is politically convenient. At the end of the day, no amount of Trump visits will change the fact that Lombardo is a corrupt, failed politician who is only looking out for himself,” Sisolak spokesperson Natalie Gould said in a statement sent before the start of the rally.

Contact Taylor R. Avery at TAvery@reviewjournal.com. Follow @travery98 on Twitter.

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