Ugly GOP primary draws to a close as swing state voters prepare to decide who will take on tough Democratic incumbent

The brutal Republican primary in a major swing state is finally coming to an end as voters go to the polls Tuesday to determine which candidate will face what is expected to be a tough Democratic incumbent.

Former U.S. Army Captain Sam Brown and former President Trump official Dr. Jeffrey Gunter have traded blow after blow in the weeks leading up to the Nevada primary, each seeking to portray themselves as the true candidate of “America First” in the race.

Both fought — publicly and privately — to gain support from former President Trump, a battle that Brown, an Afghanistan war veteran who suffered a catastrophic injury while deployed in 2008, ultimately won Sunday thanks to a last-minute weigh-in by the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.


Former U.S. Ambassador to Iceland Jeff Gunter, left, and former U.S. Army Capt. Sam Brown (State Department, Sam Brown for Nevada)

Gunter hopes, however, that his “MAGA” messaging since launching his campaign last year, as well as his service to Trump as ambassador to Iceland, will propel him to a surprise, come-from-behind victory.

The winner will likely face the daunting task of going up against Democratic Sen. Jacky Rosen and the well-funded operation his party hopes to keep the Silver State firmly blue in a year when Republicans are expected to perform well in all the countries.

Polling on the race has been sparse, with Gunter and Brown each touting their own internal polls as proof they hold the advantage.

Trump riles up fiery Swing State crowd in first rally since New York conviction

Donald Trump

Former President Trump shows the teleprompter and says it doesn’t work, while speaking at a campaign rally at Sunset Park in Las Vegas on June 9, 2024. (Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images)

Gunter largely financed his own campaign, but Brown has enjoyed support from national Republicans who view him as the best chance to flip the seat. That support appears to be what ultimately drew Trump to his camp, making him the widely considered favorite to win the race.

Brown also has the support of popular Nevada Republican Gov. Joe Lombardo, a figure who largely stays out of the spotlight and rarely weighs in in such cases of heightened national attention.

Gunter has garnered his own set of high-profile endorsements in the race, including Reps. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., and Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., as well as former Republican congressman and gubernatorial candidate from New York, Lee Zeldin.


Jackie Rosen

Senator Jacky Rosen waits to speak during a groundbreaking ceremony at the Brightline West station in Las Vegas on April 22, 2024. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Brown and Gunter face a crowded primary field that includes former state Rep. Jim Marchant and veteran Air Force pilot Tony Grady. Rosen faces no serious opposition in his primary.

Democrats currently hold a slim 51-49 majority in the Senate, and the Nevada race is seen as a great opportunity for Republicans, along with races in West Virginia, Montana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan , Maryland and Arizona.

Polls in Nevada are open from 7:00 a.m. PT to 7:00 p.m. PT.

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