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Nevada U.S. Senate Debate Update

(Chuck Muth) – As I mentioned a few days ago, there’s been a group of high-level Republicans trying to put together a closing debate for the GOP Senate primary race in Las Vegas.

There was a difference of opinion on what the fundraising level should be for qualification to participate.  Initially it was proposed the minimum level should be $1 million – which is not unreasonable for a U.S. Senate general election race, but probably not necessary to be competitive in the primary.

So it was proposed to set the qualification level at $250,000 instead.  That would have meant Sam Brown, Jeff Gunter and Tony Grady would have qualified and been invited.

A venue had already been secured and there were three dates, with no specified time – the weekend of May 31, June 1, or June 2.

It was proposed that the moderators be Jessica Hill of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Steve Sebelius of Channel 13, and Peter Guzman of the Latin Chamber of Commerce.  All pros with no dog in the fight.

Three big GOP organizations (I’ll keep them unnamed for now) were approached about sponsoring the debate and signing onto a letter urging the candidates to attend.

It would have been a great, highly educational event.  But Brown’s supporters had a cow and two of the three organizations ended up voting against being a co-sponsor after getting blowback from the Brown campaign.

The “official” excuse for Sam not participating is that “he’s walking with his supporters that weekend” – which, of course, doesn’t fly since the debate could easily have been held in the evening after door knocking was over.

But privately, the real excuse that came back from Brown supporters boiled down to this (I’m paraphrasing): “Sam is a weak debater and can’t hold his own against Gunter and/or Grady.”


Um, how then is he going to go head-to-head with Jacky Rosen in the fall if he’s the GOP nominee?  Or do his handlers intend to “pull and Biden” and keep Sam locked up in his basement until the election is over?

Sorry, guys.  I know a lot of you are Brown supporters.

But he’s ducked every debate invitation for this entire primary election season, deploying the political equivalent of Dean Smith’s “Four Corner Stall” when he coached the North Carolina Tar Heels’ basketball team in the 60s and 70s.

Yes, I know Sam’s the front-runner and likely nominee at this point.  Yes, I know he’s a Purple Heart recipient and EVERYBODY respects his service to our country (except Steve Sanson).

But there are legitimate questions he should answer – such as questions about the PAC he formed to support GOP candidates but was instead used to pay off his campaign debt from the last time he ran.

There are also legitimate questions about what exactly he stands for and would do if elected.  A lot of Brown supporters from two years ago are now asking if there’s really any “there” there or if he’s just an “empty suit” who will do whatever Mitch McConnell tells him to do.

Don’t shoot the messenger.  I’m FAR from the only person asking these questions.

But the worst part for me?

It’s the height of hypocrisy for Sam to duck debates after he, himself, attacked Adam Laxalt for not debating HIM two years ago in the primary – and whined about it incessantly until Laxalt finally gave him a shot on Sam Shad’s TV show.

So I guess in this case what’s good for the goose ain’t good for the gander.  And it stinks.

If Brown’s the GOP nominee, he’ll likely get my vote in November.  But if he continues to refuse to participate in at least one debate before the primary – I’ll be voting for someone else on June 11.


“I’m Sam Brown and Adam Laxalt is afraid to get in the arena with me in front of you. This is the most important U.S. Senate race in the country and leaders are not afraid of a fight. I want a one-on-one prime time debate in front of Nevada voters.  Adam has rejected that. … Nevadans deserve better.  Nevadans deserve leadership.” – Sam Brown, March 2022

Mr. Muth is president of Citizen Outreach, publisher of Nevada News & Views and blogs at  His views are his own.


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