Army veteran Sam Brown gave the NRSC some welcome news on Monday when the Republican declared he'd challenge Democratic Sen. Jacky Rosen in Nevada, which is home to one of the most competitive Senate races in America.
Brown's declaration was greeted with an enthusiastic statement from NRSC chair Steve Daines, who said he was "very pleased that Sam is stepping up to run for the U.S. Senate." Brown made his declaration about two months after Jim Marchant, the Big Lie spreader who narrowly lost last year’s race for Nevada secretary of state, kicked off his own bid. Dermatologist Jeffrey Ross Gunter, who had a turbulent tenure as Trump's ambassador to Iceland from 2019 to 2021, is also reportedly interested in running.
While the NRSC has reportedly spent months trying to recruit Brown for this campaign, he very much wasn't the choice of powerful Republicans when he ran last cycle for the Silver State's other Senate seat. Donald Trump and the hardline anti-tax Club for Growth backed former Attorney General Adam Laxalt as their choice to take on Democratic incumbent Catherine Cortez Masto, and the Army veteran initially didn't appear to pose much of a threat to the frontrunner.
But Brown, whose face was badly burned by an explosion in Afghanistan, raised a credible amount of money (his great uncle is Cincinnati Bengals' owner Mike Brown), and he soon drew more attention. He also tried to out-Big Lie Laxalt by accusing him of waiting too long to file litigation trying to overturn Biden's win in 2020.
Still, all this was far from enough to keep Laxalt from decisively prevailing in the nomination fight. Both the former attorney general and the Club highlighted how Brown had unsuccessfully competed in a 2014 primary for a state House seat in Texas: The Club even ran a TV ad playing audio of Brown saying, "It will literally take an act of God to get me out of Texas … I want Texas to continue to be the greatest place in this country … I'm not going anywhere." Laxalt won 56-34, but he went on to narrowly lose to Cortez Masto.
Rosen, for her part, has been preparing for a tough race. She announced Monday she'd hauled in $2.7 million for the second quarter of 2023 and finished it with $7.5 million in the bank.