First-time GOP Senate candidate Sam Brown hauls in $1M in battleground Nevada

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EXCLUSIVE: The Republican campaign of Army veteran Sam Brown says the first-time candidate’s fundraising figures show he’s “a force to be reckoned with” in the GOP Senate primary in Nevada, a key battleground state in the 2022 midterm elections.

Brown hauled in over $1 million from his campaign launch in mid-July through the end of September, which marks the end of the third quarter of fundraising, according to campaign cash numbers shared first with Fox News on Friday.

The GOP needs a net gain of just one seat to win back the Senate majority in next year’s midterms. While Republicans are playing defense – they’re defending 20 of the 34 seats up for grabs – they see opportunities to flip blue seats red in the swing states of Arizona, Georgia, New Hampshire and Nevada, where first-term Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto is running for reelection.

Brown, a newcomer to politics, is a retired Army captain. He’s a Purple Heart recipient who sustained serious injuries from an IED explosion during a 2008 deployment in Afghanistan, which left his face severely burned. 

“This finance report makes it clear that all Nevada Republicans have a real choice for taking on the hard left policies of Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto,” the Brown campaign touted in a statement to Fox News. “Nevadans representing every Nevada county have donated to Sam Brown’s campaign in just the first 90 days. This grassroots campaign has received donations from all fifty states, as well as American military personnel serving overseas, and our average donation is less than $75.”

The campaign also showcased that it has surpassed 12,000 donors and that the fundraising report “leaves no doubt that Sam Brown’s campaign is a force to be reckoned with in the primary and in the general election.”

Brown called his campaign cash figures an “early milestone” and spotlighted that “this fledgling grassroots campaign has grown to become a leader of a national movement to restore power where it belongs – to the people.”

And he highlighted that “I don’t come from wealth or power. I come from a career of service and sacrifice. I come from small town America. I come from a middle class that believes in putting duty to country first, and in abiding by our enduring Constitution.”

Brown’s fundraising haul will raise eyebrows in a GOP primary race where former Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt grabbed the spotlight when he announced his candidacy for the Senate in mid-August. Laxalt, an Iraq War veteran and grandson of the late Nevada governor and senator Paul Laxalt, has plenty of name recognition. 

While Brown’s a supporter of former President Trump, Laxalt – who’s a Trump ally – has been endorsed by the former president, who remains very popular and influential among Republicans in the Silver State and across the country. And sources close to longtime Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell tell Fox News it’s likely an endorsement of Laxalt by the Kentucky Republican could happen later this year.

Business owner Sharelle Mendenhall and Bill Hockstedler, a health care executive and Air Force veteran, are also running for the Republican Senate nomination.

The winner of next year’s GOP primary will face a challenge in trying to oust Cortez Masto in the general election. The senator, who chaired the Senate Democrats’ reelection arm last cycle when the party regained the chamber’s majority, has built a formidable war chest. 

Cortez Masto, a former two-term Nevada attorney general, defeated Republican Joe Heck by two and a half points in the 2016 election to succeed retiring longtime Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid. She made history as the first Latina elected to the Senate.

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