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Adam Laxalt's Nevada 'leadership team' has fake electors and extremist group advocates

The Republican Senate nominee believes far-right extremists and supporters of anti-government groups support him because they want America to ‘move in the right direction once again.’

By Josh Israel - November 04, 2022
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Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call via AP Images
UNITED STATES - OCTOBER 22: Republican U.S. Senate Candidate Adam Laxalt listens to speakers at his early voting kickoff rally in Summerlin, Nev., on Saturday, October 22, 2022. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call via AP Images)

Nevada Republican Senate nominee Adam Laxalt warned in his campaign announcement video that in a battle for right and wrong, the “radical left, rich elites, woke corporations, academia, Hollywood, and the media” were taking over America like the evil empire in the Star Wars movies. His own campaign leadership team, however, includes several radical right extremists who have themselves tried to subvert American democracy.

Laxalt is challenging Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto in the midterm election, which ends with Election Day on Nov. 8.

In September, Laxalt’s campaign announced a “statewide leadership team” of “Laxalt Leaders.” “I am humbled by the outpouring of support we have received from across the Silver State,” he said. “This campaign runs on the grassroots support of the Nevadans who want to see our state and our country move in the right direction once again.”

Included on the team is Jim Hindle, the clerk and treasurer of Storey County who is also the vice chairman of the Nevada Republican Party.

President Joe Biden won the 2020 presidential election in Nevada, with its six Electoral College votes, 50.1%-47.7%. Six Nevada Republicans who decided to ignore the results gathered at the state Capitol, signed fake electoral certificates, and cast illegitimate “votes” for former President Donald Trump and former Vice President Mike Pence as the “rightful victors of Nevada.” Hindle was one of the fake electors who signed a false statement claiming to be “duly elected and qualified.”

Laxalt’s campaign site says, “Law and order are foundational principles of our society,” but his “Laxalt Leaders” also include Eureka County Sheriff Jesse Watts and Elko County Sheriff Aitor Narvaiza. Both men have allied themselves with the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association, a far-right, Southern Poverty Law Center-designated extremist group that says county sheriffs should not have to enforce state and federal laws they believe are unconstitutional. The Anti-Defamation League calls the Constitutional Sheriffs “an anti-government extremist group whose primary purpose is to recruit sheriffs into the anti-government ‘patriot’ movement.”

Nevada Public Radio station KUNR reported that Laxalt praised Watts and Narvaiza at an event in March, saying: “These courageous sheriffs have stood up. … They’re standing up for our people. They’re upholding their oath – to uphold the Constitution and to follow the law.”

The leaders also include state Assemblyman Jim Wheeler, who was cited in a May report by the Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights for joining several far-right groups on Facebook, including two paramilitary “patriot” groups.

Wheeler received national attention in 2013 when he told Republican activists that he would back the return of slavery if that was the will of his constituents. “If that’s what they wanted, I’d have to hold my nose,” he said.

Also named is former state Sen. Sue Lowden, who unsuccessfully sought her party’s nomination for the U.S. Senate in 2010.

During that race, she suggested repealing the Affordable Care Act and replacing it with a system of bartering for health care.

“Before we all started having health care, in the olden days our grandparents, they would bring a chicken to the doctor, they would say I’ll paint your house,” she proposed. “I mean, that’s the old days of what people would do to get health care with your doctors. Doctors are very sympathetic people. I’m not backing down from that system.”

A Laxalt campaign spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment for this story.

Laxalt himself has a history of working to undermine democracy, including pushing false claims that the 2020 election was stolen.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.


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