By Shanna Cummings
The whirlwind “Laxalt 17” road tour snagged on a construction delay between Lovelock and Winnemucca, but Nevada Attorney General and Republican gubernatorial candidate Adam Laxalt walked into the Martin Hotel in Winnemucca ready to greet the waiting crowd.
Halfway up the aisle, he removed his coat bearing the Nevada state emblem embroidered on the back.
Winnemucca Mayor Di An Putnam introduced Laxalt as a “true patriot” with “great respect for our rural areas.” She praised his dedication to service, adding that he didn’t “waste time on the political games.”
After describing the events and circumstances that formed the foundation of his character, Laxalt launched into a rundown of his platform: making Nevada “safe” and “prosperous,” reducing government interference and improving education.
Laxalt made no attempt to gloss over his struggle with alcohol as a teenager and praised his mother and his grandparents for helping him get the help he needed.
He said when he emerged from the treatment center at rock bottom, he had the opportunity to rebuild himself. “I wouldn’t be here today without them and without that important step,” he said.
After college, law school and service in the Navy, Laxalt married, started a family and returned to Nevada. He decided that “the Attorney General office was really something that needed a strong Conservative to defend rural Nevada against what we face.”
He promised to “focus on making sure we have a safe state,” speaking about facing “threats abroad” and mentioning the recent terrorist attack in Manhattan, but not the more relevant Oct. 1 mass shooting in Las Vegas that postponed his announcement tour.
Regarding making Nevada a “prosperous state,” he said rural regions “had a hard time growing because of regulations and government.” He mentioned sage grouse and the Waters of the United States rule, two hot-button lawsuits he was involved in. He said he would work to reduce these impediments.
Regarding education, his last talking point, he pointed out that Nevada “is at the bottom in most of the ways that we evaluate those things.”
Before closing, he spoke to Humboldt County Sheriff Allen. “God bless you. All of you are going through a tough time with the mine right now,” he said, referring to Tuesday’s accident at Marigold Mine that claimed two lives. “I hope everything goes alright with that.”
Former Nevada Governor Robert List is accompanying Laxalt on the tour.
List, who also served as Attorney General, said Laxalt is “a man of tremendous character” and praised his “extraordinary accomplishments” since taking office in 2015. In particular, he referenced Laxalt’s efforts to clear a backlog of approximately 8,000 sexual assault evidence kits.
When ask if he thought Laxalt would find it a challenge to represent all of Nevada, particularly the more liberal urban counties, List replied, “I think this campaign is going to be about character. Issues are important, but I think most of Nevada is going to vote for the individual.”
“He’s running for the right reasons,” he concluded.
Editor's note: We will occasionally publish stories of interest from our rural partners as part of a content-sharing agreement.