Laxalt Among GOP Losers in Nevada’s State-Level “Blue Wave”

At the national level, Democrats recaptured the House of Representatives, but fell short in the party’s bid for a Senate takeover, leading to a split Congress. But at the state level in Nevada, it was a very strong night for Democrats, for nearly all state offices, the Senate seat up for grabs, and keeping a majority in both houses of the state legislature. As Taylor Avery reports, some Republicans now fear for Nevada’s future, saying it’s becoming too much like California.

Adam Laxalt delivers his concession speech in front a gathering of his supporters at the Grand Sierra Resort in Reno, NV, on the night of Nov. 6. He ran for the governor seat in Nevada. Photo by Taylor Avery.

RENO — Near midnight on November 6th, Adam Laxalt gave his concession speech in front of his supporters and TV cameras at the plush Grand Sierra Resort in Reno.

“I just got off the phone with Mr. Sisolak (Steve Sisolak, the Democratic governor-elect) and I congratulated him on a hard fought election and I certainly offered any support that I could possibly provide to move our state forward,” Laxalt said.

According to Wednesday morning AP tallies, which are still incomplete, Sisolak won over 49% of the vote so far while Laxalt was at just over 45%. Sisolak is the first Democrat to become governor in Nevada since 1989.

Laxalt thanked his campaign staff, his mother, and his wife, Jaime, through tears. He also encouraged the attendees of the event to give their support to the governor-elect.

“We need to come together as a state in order to move Nevada forward,” Laxalt said. Photo by Taylor Avery.

A Previous Governor Wanted More Help from Current Governor

Robert List, a previous governor of Nevada, from 1979 to 1983, was at the event as well. He worked with Adam Laxalt during his campaign.

“I can’t say enough good things about what a fine public servant Adam has been,” List said. Laxalt has been Nevada’s Attorney General since 2015. In that race last night, Democrat Aaron Ford defeated Republican Wes Duncan.

List also mentioned the role of the current governor in Nevada’s gubernatorial race. “If there’s any one single thing that I wish could have been different in this campaign, it is that Brian Sandoval would have been there to help with this campaign,” he said.

Governor Sandoval appeared in high profile advertisements for the defeated Republican Senate incumbent Dean Heller who lost to Democrat Jacky Rosen.

Laxalt was not the only Republican candidate to be defeated in Nevada, as Senator Dean Heller who had a perfect record in previous elections for several Nevada positions also lost.

GOP Tears and Concerns over Taxes

Many of Laxalt’s supporters at the event were crying as he made his way out of the room, shaking hands and hugging people along the way.

Shay Day, one of the attendees, said he wished that Laxalt had won but that he was sure that Laxalt would run again in the future.

Other attendants were concerned about Nevada’s future.

“I think what you’re witnessing today is the transformation of Nevada into California,” Laxalt supporter Michael Jordan said. He said like its big neighbor he felt Nevada was now leaning very leftward.

“Where is the money going to come from? When you overtax me, I have to lay people off,” said John Fuller, another attendee.

Reporting by Taylor Avery shared with the Reynolds Sandbox