Adam Laxalt, the Republican former Nevada attorney general who said the 2020 presidential election was “rigged,” conceded his loss Tuesday in a contest that tipped the balance of the Senate to Democrats.
Multiple news outlets, including NBC News, declared his opponent, Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, the winner on Saturday. The delay in the concession had some Democrats privately fearing Laxalt was readying a recount effort, said a Democrat familiar with the party’s national strategy. That could have turned into a lengthy process and dragged out a race that ultimately determined party control of the Senate.
Instead, in an announcement Tuesday on Twitter, Laxalt said he had called Cortez Masto to “congratulate her on her win.”
“I am confident that any challenge of this election would not alter the ultimate outcome,” Laxalt said in the statement.
The margin was razor thin; the latest tally showed Cortez Masto with 48.8% of the vote and Laxalt with 48%. Cortez Masto eked out the win by vastly outperforming Laxalt in mail-in ballots. Laxalt lamented that Republicans need to address that deficit in the future.
"Moving forward, we need to better adjust to our new election laws or we need to work to fix them," Laxalt wrote.
Laxalt noted that Cortez Masto and allies spent a "staggering" amount of money and that he still came within half a percentage point of victory. Democrats outspent Republicans by $12 million in the general election, pouring $82.6 million into advertising in Cortez Masto's race, compared with the $70.5 million Republicans spent, according to AdImpact data.
Laxalt joins a slew of 2020 election deniers who did not follow former President Donald Trump's playbook for their own races and instead accepted defeat. They include celebrity doctor Mehmet Oz, who won Trump’s endorsement and his GOP primary by saying things like “we cannot move on” from the 2020 election but then conceded the Pennsylvania Senate race to Democrat John Fetterman.