FIRST ON FOX: Several police groups that have backed incumbent Nevada Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, a Democrat, have switched their endorsement over to Republican candidate Adam Laxalt.
Laxalt, the former Silver State attorney general who is running to unseat Cortez Masto, received a key endorsement from the Public Safety Alliance of Nevada (PSAN), which represents over 10,000 law enforcement officers in more than 100 state and local groups.
Eleven of the member organizations switched their support to Laxalt, as well, including the Nevada Fraternal Order of Police, the Las Vegas Peace Officers Association, and Peace Officers Association of the Clark County School District.
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Former Nevada attorney general Adam Laxalt campaigns for the 2022 GOP Senate nomination in the key western battleground state.
(Adam Laxalt Senate campaign)
“Few things are more important to me than fighting rising crime in Nevada and across the country,” Laxalt said in a statement to Fox News Digital. “Support from the brave men and women of Nevada’s law enforcement is humbling.”
“The organizations represented by the PSAN endorsed my opponent, Senator Catherine Cortez Masto, in 2016, but they’ve seen nothing but empty promises from her and today they’ve joined our efforts,” Laxalt continued. “Instead of helping law enforcement, Cortez Masto has been focused on pushing the agenda of anti-police radicals in her party that undermines cops at every turn.”
“I am focused on helping law enforcement to keep Nevada safe and I will always have their backs,” he added. “Voters should know that as our next Senator I will oppose defunding the police and ensure our officers have the tools they need to do their jobs, just as I did when I was Nevada’s Attorney General.”
Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto listens to testimony during a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing on July 27, 2021.
(Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)
PSAN director John Abel said Laxalt “stood by cops when it mattered, and we are proud to stand by him now.”
“As Attorney General, Adam organized the first statewide Law Enforcement summit, took action to combat the spread of illegal drugs, and was tough on crime,” he continued. “Our organization is proud to support his campaign for the United States Senate, where we know he will continue working with cops to make Nevada’s communities safe.”
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Josh Marcus-Blank, the Cortez Masto campaign spokesman, told Fox News Digital in a Wednesday statement that “Senator Cortez Masto is honored to have been endorsed by groups representing 19 law enforcement agencies and thousands of brave men and women in uniform across Nevada, and she earned their support by working closely with them as Attorney General and securing historic funding for local police departments as Senator.”
“It’s a stark contrast to Laxalt, who opposes that law enforcement funding and whose closest encounter with law enforcement came when he assaulted an officer and then lied about it,” he continued, referring to an incident from Laxalt’s teenage years.
The law enforcement endorsements are a major boon to Laxalt’s campaign as he looks to punch his ticket to Washington in a year many are predicting will see massive Republican gains in Congress.
Attorney General Adam Laxalt speaks during a news conference hosted by the Trump campaign outside the Clark County Election Department in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Nov. 5, 2020. (Joe Buglewicz/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
Cortez Masto’s loss of several of her police endorsements could also be attributed to the leftward lurch of the Democratic Party, whose progressive wing continues to run on defunding law enforcement.
House Democrats are projected to see their numbers shrink in the midterms, but their most far-left members – like New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez – aren’t in any danger of losing their seats due to the deep blue nature of their districts.
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That fact alone means progressives will likely constitute a larger proportion of the caucus in the next Congress than they do now. But AOC and her allies are also poised to add to their numbers. In several safe blue districts, far-left Democrats have either won their primary or have a good chance of doing so.
While the Senate is less likely to flip, messaging ripples from the inherently more political House races could harm Cortez Masto’s chances of securing re-election.
Houston Keene is a politics reporter for Fox News Digital. Story tips can be sent to Houston.Keene@Fox.com and on Twitter: @HoustonKeene