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New Cortez Masto ad goes after Laxalt’s family upbringing in tight Nevada Senate race

The new ad, first shared with NBC News, references an underage arrest and suggests Laxalt received special treatment in college.
Catherine Cortez Masto, Adam Laxalt.
Catherine Cortez Masto, Adam Laxalt.Getty Images

Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., has already hit Republican opponent Adam Laxalt with negative ads that have garnered some criticism.

But her latest is a doozy.

The new ad, which Cortez Masto's campaign first shared with NBC News, mentions a run-in with the law when Laxalt was a minor, his academic performance in college and his ties to donors — all while playing music that is strikingly similar to the theme music from “Succession,” the Emmy-award winning HBO series about the ruthless tactics behind maintaining a multinational family business.

“The charmed life of Adam Laxalt, always looking out for himself,” the narrator says in an ad that’s set to be broadcast in both Spanish and English.

It’s the latest salvo in a bitter Senate race where the two candidates are neck and neck in a contest that could determine the balance of power in the Senate.

In the 60-second ad, Laxalt is painted as cashing in on his family’s political connections. Laxalt is the son of Washington lobbyist Michelle Laxalt and grandson of former Nevada Sen. and Gov. Paul Laxalt.

The ad also brings up the GOP nominee's academic record.

“The son of a lobbyist. The grandson of a senator. Raised at one of DC’s most elite private schools,” the narration continues. “Flunking out of college, but that’s not a problem. Laxalt was immediately allowed into another elite university.”

In a 2013 Washingtonian article, Laxalt was among five people who spoke to the magazine about their struggles with alcohol during college. He discussed episodes he said he’s learned from and has since put behind him.

“Really, it was the best thing that’s ever happened to me in my life because at that moment I said, ‘Okay, I have a problem, and I’m going to face it and deal with it.’ Before that it was ‘I’m too young, I can’t stop now, I’ll deal with this later.’” Laxalt told the Washingtonian. “At that stage I wanted my life to get better. For an 18-year-old, I was as gone as you can get.”