Sandoval spurns Laxalt, declines to endorse in governor's race
Gov. Brian Sandoval doesn’t plan to endorse any of the candidates running to replace him in November, giving the cold shoulder to fellow Republican Adam Laxalt.
Sandoval’s office confirmed in a statement on Friday that the popular two-term governor wouldn’t be getting involved in the race between Laxalt and Democrat Steve Sisolak to replace him. Las Vegas Review-Journal columnist Victor Joecks first reported the news last month, which was confirmed by KLAS reporter Steve Sebelius yesterday.
— Steve Sebelius (@SteveSebelius) August 16, 2018
“I don’t plan to endorse in the race,” Sandoval said in a statement.
The failure to garner support from the incumbent governor is likely a blow to Laxalt, who two days prior told the Reno Gazette-Journal that he hoped to earn the governor’s vote in the race.
Sandoval and Laxalt have had a frosty relationship over the prior four years, including a public disagreement over the attorney general’s decision to join a multi-state lawsuit suing to stop the federal deferred deportation plan for roughly 5 million people who entered the country illegally as children and for their parents.
The two have also disagreed on one of Sandoval’s signature accomplishments — the 2015 creation of a “Commerce Tax” on business revenue exceeding $4 million. Laxalt has stated publicly and on his website that he supports repealing the tax, while Sandoval has said the revenue from the tax is needed to pay for a bevy of K-12 education initiatives also championed by the governor and approved in the 2015 session.
Sandoval also declined to endorse Laxalt last December, saying at an event sponsored by The Nevada Independent that he could not “support a candidate who seeks to undo what we’ve done for the past seven years.”