A dozen relatives of Nevada’s current attorney general and Republican candidate for governor, Adam Laxalt, penned an op-ed in the Reno Gazette Journal this week explaining why they think Laxalt should not be governor.
Laxalt’s family, including an aunt and cousins, addressed their reasons for the writing the op-ed, saying they “feel compelled to protect our family name from being leveraged and exploited.” They wrote about their family’s rich history in Nevada and how Laxalt has “falsely” claimed he was raised in the state, pointing out that although Laxalt was born in Reno, he was raised out of state.
“Adam never knew the state or its people,” the family wrote. They went on to suggest his motives for moving back to the state were purely political: “He left as an infant and was raised on the East Coast, 3,000 miles away, in Washington, D.C., and moved here only in 2013, only one year later launching his political career.”
The family went on to ridicule Laxalt, calling into to question his authenticity. They cited as an example a “Basque Fry” fundraiser he held recently and said, “This event perfectly captures the Adam Laxalt candidacy: the phoniness of the setting and costumes, the pretense of folksiness used as a prop for Washington power players like Kellyanne Conway and Devin Nunes.”
A Basque Fry is a traditional Nevada event. The family linked to a promotional video from Laxalt’s event and explained, “Adam is dressed in a ‘western’ shirt monogrammed with his campaign logo, ‘work’ boots and jeans that look like they were ordered off Amazon the week before… it’s all fake, all props paid for by someone else.”
A spokesman for the candidate responded to the opinion piece and told NBC News, “Adam has a large family and some distant relatives are lifelong liberal activists, donors, and operatives. They’ve done this many times, going back to 2014, and it’s never had any impact.”
Interestingly, Laxalt is the illegitimate son of former New Mexico Republican Sen. Pete Domenici and the grandson of Paul Laxalt, also a former Republican senator and close friend of Ronald Reagan.
This is not the first time this election cycle we’ve seen family members come out publicly against a family member running for office. Back in September, the family of Republican Paul Gosar appeared in a political ad endorsing Democrat David Brill, who is running against Gosar to represent Arizona’s 4th Congressional District, and the ad went viral.
David Gosar, Paul’s brother, told the Washington Post of the ad, “There isn’t a kooky, crazy, nutty thing that he isn’t a part of. What are we supposed to do?”