In a packed Las Vegas club — and with just a month remaining before early voting begins — Republican Senate hopeful Adam Laxalt sought a campaign boost from the GOP’s fastest rising star and an old law school roommate: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
Dubbed the “Rise Up” rally, Wednesday’s event took clear aim at the culture war, rousing the crowd of more than 1,000 people with not only attacks on Democratic economic, energy and immigration policies, but also “woke” culture and the “radical left.”
It also gave DeSantis, the event’s headliner and a potential candidate for president in 2024, a platform from which he spent roughly 20 minutes praising his tenure and achievements in Florida before touting Laxalt’s bid.
“Greetings from the Sunshine State, the freedom state, and the state that has done more than any other state to stand up to Joe Biden,” DeSantis said.
Sharing the stage with Laxalt at Stoney’s Rockin’ Country — a country-themed bar and club replete with a disco ball above the crowd— DeSantis ran through a laundry list of accomplishments under his tenure as governor, from limiting COVID restrictions in the early phase of the pandemic to running a budget surplus to enacting voter ID laws and banning critical race theory in school curriculums.
“If Florida had not led over the last few years, other states would not have followed,” DeSantis said of limiting COVID mitigation regulations, including mask and vaccine mandates. “Biden would have won, and this state, this country would look like Canada or Australia. Freedom prevailed over Fauci-ism”
Laxalt similarly targeted the “radical left” and the “policies that are crushing our state and our country,” attacking attempts by Democrats to curtail the use of fossil fuels and their move away from Trump-era policies on the U.S.-Mexico border.
He also touted “wins on the board” by conservatives, from the failure of the CNN+ streaming platform — “clearly Americans were not willing to pay for that,” he said — to the pending sale of Twitter to billionaire Tesla CEO Elon Musk.
“These are all examples of us being on the march, because people are ready to rise up, and we’re going to take back our country and our state,” Laxalt said.
In attacking Cortez Masto over the issue of crime and her relationship with police departments as a former attorney general, Laxalt also announced the endorsement of the Public Safety Alliance of Nevada — a group composed of police unions — which previously backed Cortez Masto in 2016.
A spokesman for Cortez Masto’s campaign responded to the endorsement late Wednesday, saying in a statement to The Nevada Independent that Cortez Masto “has always stood with Nevada law enforcement.”
“[That includes] working closely with our officers as Attorney General, passing a bill signed into law by Trump to combat law enforcement suicide and most recently securing a historic, bipartisan investment in Nevada's local police departments that Adam Laxalt opposes,” the statement said.