Nevada GOP Senate nominee Adam Laxalt is pushing back.
After incumbent Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto released a searing ad portraying him as a spoiled “son of Washington” Laxalt is out with what will be a three-part ad series that zeroes in on his biography.
The Cortez Masto ad calls out Laxalt’s past sins: He hit a cop, flunked out of college and his family connections bailed him out. In the background, music plays that’s similar to “Succession,” the Emmy-award winning HBO series about the ruthless tactics behind maintaining a multinational family business.
Laxalt’s ads, first provided to NBC News, are personal testimonials describing a son of a single mother and an addiction survivor who steered himself back on track. He served his country by volunteering in Iraq. His wife vouches for him as the family’s protector. He’s a loving father who is laughing with his children, lifting up his 9-month-old daughter Lilliana.
“As a teenager, I was going the wrong direction. I suffered with addiction. But the people who loved me, got me help. I turned my life around. That taught me, helping others gives life meaning,” Laxalt says in one of the ads. “That’s why I volunteered to serve in Iraq, and as Nevada’s Attorney General. Right now, America is going the wrong direction. People are hurting and I want to help. I want to serve.”
Laxalt’s camp notes that the former attorney general graduated Magna Cum Laude from Georgetown University, served as a lieutenant in the U.S. States Navy from 2005 to 2010 and volunteered to deploy to a combat zone in Iraq In 2007.
The back and forth ads ensue as the sprint to the November election began in earnest after Labor Day in what’s expected to be by all measures one of the tightest Senate contests in the country.
While the most recent poll in Nevada shows Cortez Masto holding onto a slim lead, that’s after the incumbent Democrat significantly outspent Laxalt on TV ads. From June to Aug. 25, Democrats backing Cortez Masto spent a total of more than $20 million on ads while Republican spending was at $12.6 million, according to AdImpact, an ad tracking firm.
That most recent poll, which was AARP-commissioned, had Cortez Masto leading by just four points — within the margin of error.