2024 U.S. Election Updates: Joe Biden and Donald Trump

Nevada’s once-sleepy Republican primary for Senate, which has been dominated by Sam Brown, a U.S. Army veteran, was jolted to life in the past week, when a deep-pocketed rival took aim at the front-runner.

Jeff Gunter, the ambassador to Iceland under former President Donald J. Trump, is unloading a $3.3 million advertising campaign with a MAGA message, according to his campaign, hoping to cut into Mr. Brown’s dominant lead over the crowded field.

A television ad from Mr. Gunter that began airing on Wednesday called Mr. Brown “the newest creature to emerge from the swamp,” tying him to Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the minority leader, and deriding his primary opponent as “Scam Brown.”

Mr. Brown, a veteran who was wounded severely in Afghanistan in 2008, consolidated party support after entering the primary last July, earned the endorsement of the National Republican Senatorial Committee and has appeared at fund-raisers around the country with prominent Republicans. He has lapped his competitors in fund-raising, pulling in $2.4 million in the most recent quarter, according to fund-raising reports.

Mr. Brown has sought to employ the Trump campaign handbook, skipping debates and focusing his attention on Senator Jacky Rosen, the Democratic incumbent, rather than on his Republican rivals.

That changed on Thursday, when Mr. Brown appeared to address Mr. Gunter for the first time, at a private fund-raising event in Sparks, Nev., after Mr. Gunter accused him in ads and appearances of being disingenuous and not sufficiently pro-Trump.

“You might hear some noise out there, and people who show up from places like California from seven months ago, who want to name-call me this or that,” Mr. Brown told attendees, according to a recording obtained by The New York Times. “And that’s going to happen and we expect that out of people who were literally Democrats a year ago, to play that sort of game. But just keep your head down. You know who I am.”

His comments appeared to be focused on Mr. Gunter, a wealthy dermatologist and recent transplant from California who used to be a registered Democrat.

A group backing Mr. Brown’s campaign, the Duty First PAC, ran its first television ad this week since last year, a $322,000 reservation, according to the tracking firm AdImpact. Mr. Brown’s campaign declined to comment on Mr. Gunter.

Mike Berg, a spokesman for the N.R.S.C., suggested that Mr. Gunter’s previous party affiliation and residence would be an issue for Republican voters.

“California Democrats typically support policies like defunding the police, opening our southern border and letting violent criminals out of prison, so it would be surprising if Gunter caught on in a Republican primary,” Mr. Berg said.

Mr. Brown remains the strong favorite to win the June 11 primary. A recent poll commissioned by the N.R.S.C. and Mr. Brown’s campaign and conducted by the Tarrance Group, a Republican firm, found 58 percent of likely primary voters supporting Mr. Brown, while Mr. Gunter was in fourth place with 3.2 percent.

“I still think it’s Sam Brown’s race to lose,” said Chuck Muth, a Las Vegas-based conservative political…

Read More: 2024 U.S. Election Updates: Joe Biden and Donald Trump

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