Trump makes surprise last-minute endorsement for Sam Brown in Nevada Senate GOP primary

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Trump makes surprise last-minute endorsement for Sam Brown in Nevada Senate GOP primary

Former President Trump made a last-minute endorsement in the Nevada Senate GOP primary for retired Army Capt. Sam Brown on Sunday night, ending speculation over whether he would back a candidate in the Tuesday primary between Senate Republicans’ preferred candidate or a former ambassador who served in his administration.

In a post on his Truth Social platform, Trump endorsed Brown over two other Republicans who have closely aligned themselves with the former president: Former U.S. ambassador to Iceland Jeff Gunter and former state Assemblyman Jim Marchant. 

“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.

“I have gotten to know Sam and his beautiful wife, Amy, a U.S. Army First Lieutenant, and I know in this next chapter of their Life of Service together, they will continue to make us all proud,” he wrote in a separate post. “Sam has already proven his Love for our Country, being horrifically wounded, and making the Comeback of a Lifetime. Sam Brown has my Complete and Total Endorsement – HE WILL NEVER LET YOU DOWN!”

The endorsement is particularly notable given that Gunter served as ambassador during the Trump administration and sought to prove he was more loyal to the former president than Brown, who initially distanced himself from Trump.

Meanwhile, the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) has rallied around Brown throughout the primary.

Brown thanked Trump for his endorsement, writing on X, “Thank you, President Trump, for your leadership. I’m honored to have your endorsement. I look forward to working with you to bring a better future to every Nevadan and American when we both win in November!!”

Ahead of a Trump rally on Sunday in Las Vegas, there was speculation that the former president could make a last-minute pick in the race to unseat Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.) before the Tuesday primary. While the presumptive GOP nominee for president has often endorsed in contested Senate GOP primaries, he had notably declined to weigh in on the Silver State.

But during the rally, which both Gunter and Brown attended, Trump called the retired Army captain a “good man” while stopping shy of giving him an endorsement.

Trump’s endorsement of Brown is not entirely shocking, given that many within the GOP, particularly Senate Republicans, have rallied around the retired Army officer. Brown was seen as the favorite to win Tuesday, even as the former president remained out of the race. 

Yet, Trump’s backing comes very late in a primary in which many Nevadans have already voted early.

Nevada is among a handful of states that will determine the race to the White House and which party will control the Senate in the fall. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) narrowly won her reelection against Republican Adam Laxalt in 2022. 

The nonpartisan election handicapper Cook Political Report rates Rosen’s seat a “toss up.”