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The Nevada Independent

Trump endorses Sam Brown in Nevada Senate primary

Brown holds a significant lead in polling for the Republican primary.
Gabby Birenbaum
Gabby Birenbaum

Former President Donald Trump has endorsed veteran Sam Brown for Nevada’s Senate seat, just two days before the state’s primary election.

Trump had previously endorsed in every other competitive U.S. Senate race but had kept relatively mum on Nevada, where the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) had endorsed Brown. 

Each of the major primary candidates claimed a Trump connection — Brown volunteered on his 2020 campaign, dermatologist Jeff Gunter served as his ambassador to Iceland and former Assemblyman Jim Marchant, who frequents Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort, was endorsed by Trump in his 2022 bid for secretary of state.

By finally endorsing Brown Sunday night, Trump has effectively ended the primary race — all but one of the former president’s endorsed Senate candidates has won their primaries thus far.

“Sam Brown is a FEARLESS AMERICAN PATRIOT, a Purple Heart Recipient, who has proven he has the “PURE GRIT” and COURAGE to take on our Enemies, both Foreign and Domestic,” Trump wrote on Truth Social Sunday night.

“Sam has already proven his Love for our Country, being horrifically wounded, and making the Comeback of a Lifetime,” Trump continued. 

Brown thanked Trump in a graphic posted to X.

"I am honored to have President Trump’s endorsement of our grassroots Duty First movement for U.S. Senate," Brown said in a statement. "Together, we will work towards delivering a better future for every Nevadan!"

The former president declined to endorse in-person during his Las Vegas campaign rally Sunday, but extended his stamp of approval to Brown hours later. The endorsement comes as both Brown and Gunter made late pitches; NRSC chairman Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) appealed to Trump twice last week on Brown’s behalf, according to reporting by Politico, while Trump attended a fundraiser Saturday night hosted by wealthy GOP donor Don Ahern, a Gunter backer.

Gunter, in particular, has attacked Brown for being a product of the establishment and referred to himself as “110% pro-Trump” and the only choice for Trump supporters, while counting support from right-wing influencers in Trump’s orbit including Laura Loomer and Fox News contributor Leo Terrell.

Trump had previously shared a graphic on his Truth Social social network in April showing his and Brown’s poll numbers in Nevada. And in a late May interview with KTVN, Trump demurred when asked why he hadn’t endorsed Gunter in his “tight” primary.

“I like all of the candidates, frankly, including Marchant,” Trump said. “But it looks to me like Sam has got a pretty good lead.”

Brown held a 38 percentage-point lead over Gunter, his next closest opponent, in a Brown campaign internal poll conducted in mid-May.

Democrats have a one-seat majority in the Senate, and flipping the seat held by Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-NV), considered a toss-up, would essentially guarantee Republicans a majority.

Brown, who went to Mar-a-Lago in early April to seek Trump’s endorsement according to CNN, had been increasingly appealing to the former president. While initially declining to weigh in on the presidential race when he launched his campaign, the retired Army captain endorsed Trump in January and began lavishing praise on him in his conservative media appearances, including saying that, “President Trump and his leadership is what has driven me to try and join him in D.C.”

This story was updated at 7:20 a.m. on 6/10/24 to correct that one Trump-endorsed Senate candidate lost in New Jersey.


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