Washington Examiner: Meet Sam Brown, the veteran Republicans think can flip Nevada’s Senate seat

Originally published on The Washington Examiner

by Julia Johnson

LAS VEGAS — Senate Republican leadership has hand-picked a candidate to take on Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-NV) in Nevada’s 2024 Senate race, selecting retired Army Capt. Sam Brown to help in its goal to retake the majority in the upper chamber in November.

Brown is the favorite of Senate party leaders, some of whom attended a fundraiser for his bid last year. He was courted to launch his campaign by National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Steve Daines (R-MT), who saw Brown as the most palatable individual to run in such a pivotal swing state.

“I’ve seen a real sort of concerted effort by leadership in the Senate to support and mentor and encourage candidates like myself,” Brown, who suffered severe burns and injuries during his deployment to Afghanistan, told the Washington Examiner in an interview.

He explained the Republican leaders in the Senate have “been very encouraging [and] just accessible too.”

“I got to know Sen. Daines, meet him — gosh, it would have been right in the lead-up to the general election of ’22,” Brown recalled. “He was in state stumping for like 12 hours out there.”

The committee sees Nevada as one of its top priorities in 2024, according to NRSC officials, and will be ensuring that Brown, who is expected to win the Republican primary, is well funded and has all the support he needs to win.

While the NRSC and senatorial party leaders have backed Brown, former President Donald Trump hasn’t been willing to go as far as endorsing him. However, Brown has fully thrown his support behind Trump’s 2024 bid. At Trump’s recent Nevada rally before the presidential primaries and caucuses, Brown was in attendance. “He was kind of acknowledging certain people who were there,” Brown explained. “And he acknowledged me, but the thing that I appreciated even more than that was that he acknowledged my wife as well.”

“She’s an Army veteran herself,” he said of his wife, Amy. “It meant a lot [that] President Trump acknowledged her.”

But Brown didn’t detail any additional signals of support from the former president.

If he successfully takes the seat from Rosen in November, Brown said securing the southern border will be his first priority. But he denounced the recent bipartisan border bill introduced in the Senate. He criticized President Joe Biden for not using the executive authority he has to enforce existing laws, and further slammed the bill for various provisions he disagreed with, such as taxpayer-funded nongovernmental organizations that assist people in the country illegally.

Brown dismissed the idea that his and other Republicans’ opposition to the measure had to do with Trump’s ability to campaign on it. “It’s about what’s best for the country,” he said. “And there are provisions within the bill that are not doing that.”

The bill was soured on by several Republicans after Trump urged them not to support the measure.

Brown told members of the Nevada Republican Club in Las Vegas last week that Rosen was unwilling to address the border. However, Rosen expressed support for the bipartisan border legislation.

Asked how Brown will be able to make this argument given Rosen’s support for the bill, he said, “She’ll have to answer to the people for some of those other provisions. And where is her call to President Biden on doing things that are within his power?”

He noted that Rosen, who is a member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, hadn’t been to the southern border since 2019prior to her visit last month.

Brown said the senator should be “highly engaged” given her position but instead “has abandoned her post.”

In a statement to the Washington Examiner, a spokesperson for Rosen for Nevada said, “While Senator Rosen is working across party lines to address the crisis at our southern border with common sense reforms, Sam Brown blindly followed Donald Trump’s opposition to this bipartisan bill because he’d rather use immigration as a political football than support a solution.”

“Senator Rosen is supporting solutions to increase border security and fix our broken immigration system because she is a bipartisan and independent voice for her state, but the extreme MAGA Republicans running against her are rubber stamps for Trump who couldn’t care less about solving problems or delivering for Nevadans,” the statement continued.

Aside from the southern border and illegal immigration, Brown described what he believes will take center stage in the 2024 election. “Our national morale is suffering and people are looking for hope,” he said. The veteran noted that this hope is offered to Nevadans by Trump.

Brown said he believes that Nevadans won’t just vote in his favor because of their dissatisfaction with Biden and Rosen, but that they will be able to relate to him. He said some of the significant minority groups in Nevada, a majority-minority state, such as Asian Americans and Hispanics and Latinos, aren’t necessarily guided by their race or ethnicity.

“They’re hardworking folks who just want to live the American dream as well,” he explained.

Of union workers, who also boast a notable presence in the Silver State, Brown said, “This is a group of Nevadans and hardworking people that I can relate to.”

He recalled that before his business found success, “I worked in an Amazon fulfillment center.”

“And there’s so many people inside of unions and outside of unions who are just hardworking folks, who will literally sweat for the sake of their family. I’ve been there. I can relate to them, and they need to be represented,” Brown said.