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Republicans stump for Laxalt, Lombardo at 7th annual Basque Fry

Updated August 13, 2022 - 9:34 pm

GARDNERVILLE — Against the backdrop of the Sierra Nevada, a who’s who of conservative leaders and local advocates called on voters to “vote Republican up and down the ballot” in November at what KOH Radio’s Dan Mason called “the biggest political event in the state.”

“A fight for freedom,” “critical” and key to an “American resurgence” were just some of the phrases uttered by speakers at the seventh annual Basque Fry to describe the midterm election to a crowd of over 1,500 on Saturday just outside of Gardnerville.

The event, hosted by former Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt’s Morning in Nevada PAC, featured speeches from big-name conservatives such as South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas.

The FBI’s recent search of former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate, inflation, crime and immigration were all common topics, but one name continued to come up.

“We’re here because Adam Laxalt needs to make sure I’m not the only Republican in the federal delegation,” Rep. Mark Amodei, R-Nev., said.

Other speakers focused their remarks on Laxalt’s record as a conservative, with one speaker going as far to call him “the conservative version of ‘woke.’”

But other speakers, including Laxalt himself, took aim at his opponent, Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto.

“After eight years of her being attorney general, I had to get into office and clean up after her once, right?” Laxalt said. “No matter what she does in the media, no matter how many fancy commercials she puts up, she’s a rubber stamp for Joe Biden and a rubber stamp for the left.”

In a statement, Cortez Masto campaign spokesperson Sigalle Reshef pushed back on Laxalt’s comments.

“Adam Laxalt called Sen. Cortez Masto a ‘role model’ in her service as attorney general, highlighting her leadership in cracking down on human traffickers and combating the opioid crisis,” Reshef said. “Unfortunately, Laxalt refused to continue her work and instead used his office to benefit Big Oil, then they spent millions to elect him.”

Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo spoke at the event, too, urging voters to come together.

“The elephant in the room is that I came out of a very contested primary race. We had a lot of qualified guys running for the Republican ticket,” the Republican candidate for governor said. “It’s very important that we have a diversified crowd out here today, and no matter who you voted for, we’ve got to get past that.”

His comments come days after a judge dismissed Reno attorney Joey Gilbert’s lawsuit contesting Lombardo’s primary election win on the basis of “mathematical errors.”

This story has been updated with a statement from Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto’s campaign.

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

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