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Eyes on 2024: A prominent election denier jumps into Nevada’s Senate race
Jim Marchant on May 2, 2023, in Las Vegas.John Locher / AP

Eyes on 2024: Election denier jumps into Nevada’s Senate race

Former GOP state Assemblyman Jim Marchant lost a race for Nevada Secretary of State last year.

By and

After an election cycle where Republicans who echoed former President Donald Trump’s lies about the 2020 election underperformed in key races around the country, Nevada Republicans are going to be faced with the choice of whether to elevate one of those candidates again in 2024. 

Nevada Republican Jim Marchant is jumping into his state’s Senate race, he announced Tuesday, in the hopes of winning the right to face off against Sen. Jacky Rosen, D-Nev.

Marchant won his party’s nomination for secretary of state last year, one of a handful of nominees for the post around the country who cast doubt on the results of the 2020 election. In Marchant’s case, he told NBC News last year that Biden’s 2020 victory was “almost statistically impossible” and that he wouldn’t have certified the election. 

Republicans fought last year’s top elections in Nevada to a split decision — winning the governor’s race and losing the Senate race, both by razor-thin margins. (Marchant lost his race for secretary of state by a larger share, a bit more than 2% of the vote.) 

Both Republican nominees for governor and Senate were endorsed by Trump in 2022. But while future Republican Gov. Joe Lombardo tried to (uncomfortably, at times) create some distance between him and Trump on the question of the 2020 election, former state Attorney General and Senate nominee Adam Laxalt’s role in helping to challenge Trump’s loss in Nevada became a central piece of the Democratic attack against him. 

Marchant’s bid will yet again ask Republicans what kind of candidate they want to elevate in the hopes of winning back the Senate seat Rosen flipped in 2018, and with the balance of power in the Senate on a knife’s edge. 

In other campaign news…

Debate? That’s debatable: Trump is considering skipping the first GOP primary debate, NBC News’ Vaughn Hillyard, Jonathan Allen and Olympia Sonnier report, as the Republican National Committee is reportedly putting out feelers about whether media would carry a general election debate that isn’t sponsored by the Commission on Presidential Debates. 

Trump’s civil rape and defamation trial continues: A friend of the author accusing Trump of rape and defamation in a civil trial testified Tuesday that she was told about the alleged attack “minutes” later. 

Trump policy: As part of Trump’s effort to release policy-oriented videos, Trump’s latest video details his plan for college education, saying it’s time to “reclaim our once great educational institutions from the radical left,” per Politico. His proposals include dismantling accrediting organizations, and removing diversity, equity and inclusion administrators. 

Still a two-man race: A new CBS/YouGov poll echoes other recent surveys and finds Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (who is expected to jump in the race soon) leading the GOP primary field as the only contenders with double-digit levels of support

Jet setting: Politico delves into DeSantis’ recent travels, including his trip overseas, noting it’s not clear who paid for his flights, but DeSantis’ office says no taxpayer money was used for his travel. 

He’s running: Rep. Colin Allred, D-Texas, announced Wednesday that he is running for Senate against Republican Sen. Ted Cruz. His announcement video begins with his experience during the Jan. 6, 2021 riot at the Capitol, saying he was “ready to take on anyone who came through that door,” while Cruz “cheered on the mob” and “hid in a supply closet.” Allred also adds, “We don’t have to be embarrassed by our senator. We can get a new one.”

Maryland primary talk: One day after Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., announced his retirement, Montgomery County Councilman Will Jawando, a Democrat, announced he is jumping into the Senate race. Maryland’s other Democratic senator, Chris Van Hollen, declined to say if he’ll take sides in the primary, telling NBC News’ Scott Wong, “Right now I’m focused on thanking Sen. Cardin for his great service. There’ll be plenty of time to talk about a primary.” 

Still not interested: Former Maryland GOP Gov. Larry Hogan told NewsNation he’s “getting a lot of calls” and encouragement to run for Senate (including from his wife), but he still isn’t interested

Kind of interested: Former GOP Rep. Lee Zeldin said Monday he will “keep an eye” on the New York Senate race, saying during a visit to the state Capitol on Monday, “If we did run, it would be an extremely competitive race,” per Politico.

Senate script: Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., who is running for Senate and represents Hollywood in Congress, on Tuesday voiced support for the Hollywood writers’ strike, as did his primary Senate rivals, Reps. Katie Porter and Barbara Lee

Tar Heel Republicans put abortion rights into spotlight: Republican state lawmakers in North Carolina are rolling out a new 12-week abortion ban with varying exceptions for rape, incest, some fetal abnormalities and the life of the mother. Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper (who cannot seek re-election due to term limits) blasted the proposal in a statement, but the GOP has a veto-proof majority in the General Assembly.