Trump Endorses Retired Army Captain in Crucial Senate Race

Sam Brown gets the former president’s nod in the Nevada contest against incumbent Democrat Jacky Rosen.
Trump Endorses Retired Army Captain in Crucial Senate Race
(Left) Nevada Republican U.S. Senate candidate Sam Brown and (right) former President Donald Trump. (AP Photo/Tom R. Smedes; Madalina Vasiliu/The Epoch Times)
Jack Phillips

Former President Donald Trump made an endorsement in what could be a close U.S. Senate race in Nevada, backing retired U.S. Army Captain Sam Brown to take on the state’s incumbent senator.

“Sam Brown has my Complete and Total Endorsement ... he will never let you down,” former President Trump wrote in a Truth Social post on June 9.

Mr. Brown beat out his top GOP competitor in Nevada, former U.S. Ambassador to Iceland Jeff Gunter, for the former president’s endorsement. Mr. Brown is now the favorite to win the Republican primary in the Silver State, with 11 other Republicans vying for the nomination.

Mr. Brown also has been endorsed by Republican Nevada Gov. Joe Lombardo, a former sheriff of Clark County.

The Nevada primary election takes place on Tuesday, June 11. The winner of the primary will take on incumbent Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.) in the November 2024 election.

Following the endorsement, Ms. Rosen wrote on X that she believes Mr. Brown’s “agenda of banning abortion, gutting health care, and slashing Social Security is wrong for Nevada.”

Mr. Brown has made his military service central to his message this campaign cycle and during a prior unsuccessful Senate bid. He often told the story of the roadside bomb in Afghanistan that significantly scarred his face and nearly killed him, as well as the leadership lessons he learned while in the Army.

The former president Trump also praised Mr. Brown’s wife, Amy, a U.S. Army first lieutenant, saying, “I know in this next chapter of their Life of Service together, they will continue to make us all proud.”

Responding to the former president’s endorsement, Mr. Brown wrote on social media that he is “honored” to have his backing. “I look forward to working with you to bring a better future to every Nevadan and American when we both win in November,” he wrote.

Republicans and some independent analysts view the Nevada race as a GOP pickup opportunity that could determine which party controls the U.S. Senate in the forthcoming Congress.

Democrats hold a 51–49 majority but face a challenging 2024 election map. They must defend incumbents not only in conservative states—Montana, Ohio, and West Virginia—but also in multiple swing states, including Nevada.

However, ahead of the 2022 midterms, widespread speculation suggested Republicans would win the Senate and carve out a large majority in the House; neither of which materialized.

Democrat Catherine Cortez Masto, Nevada’s other senator, was flagged during that election as a possible seat that Republicans could flip, but she headed off former Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt in a tight race.

In April, the nonpartisan Cook Political Report declared Nevada’s Senate race to be a “toss up,” although that was before former President Trump’s endorsement of Mr. Brown and before the former president was convicted in Manhattan of falsifying business records.

“We now believe it is time for another Democrat to join the Toss Up ranks: Nevada Sen. Jacky Rosen,” Cook wrote in April.

“The Nevada shift may be a bit surprising. After all, it’s the only one of the swing states Democrats carried in both 2016 and 2020 at the presidential level, and Republicans haven’t won a statewide federal race here since 2012.”

The former president, meanwhile, appeared alongside Mr. Brown in a Nevada rally on June 9, promising to end taxes on tips.

“So this is the first time I’ve said this, and for those hotel workers and people that get tips you’re going to be very happy because when I get to office, we are going to not charge taxes on tips people [are] making,” President Trump said, pledging that it would be one of the “first thing[s]” he does in office if reelected.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter with 15 years experience who started as a local New York City reporter. Having joined The Epoch Times' news team in 2009, Jack was born and raised near Modesto in California's Central Valley. Follow him on X: