Jim Marchant, the Big Lie spreader who narrowly lost last year’s race for Nevada secretary of state, on Tuesday became the first notable Republican to launch a bid against Democratic Sen. Jacky Rosen. Marchant quickly showed that he was planning to run the same type of race as last time with a kickoff featuring fellow far-right figures like Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar and Michael Flynn and where the candidate proclaimed, “We have to encourage principled, ‘America first’ MAGA candidates to run for office.”
But while Gosar and Flynn may be eager to have Marchant back on the ballot, the Republicans who are searching for a candidate who can actually beat Rosen aren’t likely to be so happy. The Nevada Independent’s Jon Ralston relays that party insiders want Army veteran Sam Brown, who ran an unexpectedly strong 2022 primary campaign for the state’s other Senate seat, to try again, and added, “If Marchant is the nominee, and that would not surprise me, this race is over. Period.”
Marchant himself won a seat in the state legislature in 2016 only to narrowly lose reelection two years later, and he proceeded to go up against Democratic Rep. Steven Horsford in 2020. The Republican responded to his incontrovertible 51-46 defeat by baselessly claiming he was the "victim of election fraud" and unsuccessfully suing to overturn the results, but he didn’t stop there. Marchant, who has repeatedly addressed QAnon gatherings, assembled a 2022 “America First” slate of conspiracy theorist candidates running to control their state’s elections.
One prominent member of that slate was Marchant himself, who insisted during his campaign for secretary of state that anyone who won an election in Nevada since 2006 was “installed by the deep-state cabal.”
It’s not clear what the former assemblyman attributed his 2016 victory to, though he explained the endless string of courtroom losses Trump allies were dealt when they sought to undo the 2020 election by insisting, “A lot of judges were bought off too—they are part of this cabal."
Marchant didn’t restrict his conspiracy mongering to domestic events, though, as he let loose an antisemitic rant against Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy during the early weeks of the Russian invasion. "We need to support the people in Ukraine that are not the Bidens, the Clintons, the cabal," said Marchant, continuing, "They have patriots like us … that have been oppressed by the cabal, the central bankers for centuries. And that's who we need to support people that were oppressed by the Soros cabal."
None of this was at all a disqualifier for GOP voters, of course, who proceeded to hand Marchant a 38-20 primary victory over developer Jesse Haw. National Democrats, though, very much recognized the threat Marchant posed and they directed millions to aid opponent Cisco Aguilar in the general election. There was no accompanying Republican spending spree, which likely made all the difference in a year where Aguilar prevailed by a tight 49-47 margin.
Marchant uncharacteristically went quiet for some time afterward, though it didn’t last. He instead used his first post-Election Day tweet in March to respond to Trump’s looming indictment by saying he’d founded his Big Lie slate “to counter & reverse this Soros takeover strategy which has now led to the attempt to indict & arrest the rightful President of the United States.”