Source: CNN

Former President Donald Trump on Sunday endorsed retired Army captain Sam Brown for Senate ahead of the Nevada GOP primary this week.

“Sam Brown is a FEARLESS AMERICAN PATRIOT, a Purple Heart Recipient, who has proven he has the ‘PURE GRIT’ and COURAGE to take on our Enemies, both Foreign and Domestic,” Trump said in a post on his Truth Social platform.

The former president hailed Brown, who was severely burned by the explosion of a roadside bomb in Afghanistan, for making “the Comeback of a Lifetime.”

“Sam Brown has my Complete and Total Endorsement - HE WILL NEVER LET YOU DOWN!” Trump said.

Brown is vying for the GOP nomination against Dr. Jeffrey Gunter, Trump’s former ambassador to Iceland, and former state Assemblyman Jim Marchant, who has championed Trump’s false election fraud claims. The general election race against incumbent Democratic Sen. Jacky Rosen is expected to be one of the country’s most competitive.

It was initially unclear whether the former president would endorse a candidate in the race, with Brown drawing the ire of many staunch Trump supporters who privately encouraged the former president to back Gunter.

While Brown door-knocked for Trump in 2020, he later appeared to distance himself from the former president, declining to tell Punchbowl News in an August interview whether he would be “comfortable with sharing the GOP ticket with Trump in Nevada.” He eventually endorsed Trump before the Iowa caucuses.

Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz held a rally for Gunter in Nevada in April, and far-right activists and Mar-a-Lago regulars Laura Loomer and Roger Stone have railed against Brown on social media for his ties to more mainstream Republicans.

But Brown has been the strongest fundraiser of all the GOP primary candidates, raising considerably more than Gunter as of last month.

Following Trump’s endorsement, Rosen posted on X that Brown’s “agenda of banning abortion, gutting health care, and slashing Social Security is wrong for Nevada. We’re going to defeat MAGA extremism in November.”

Brown first emerged on the Nevada political scene in the 2022 cycle, when his grassroots Senate campaign – under the slogan “duty first” – won him admirers on the way to a second-place finish in the GOP primary. The winner, former state Attorney General Adam Laxalt, went on to lose narrowly to Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto in the general election.

Brown is still somewhat of a political newcomer. He lost a state legislative race in Texas in 2014. He was not a significant figure in the political landscape of Nevada, where he moved in 2018, until his 2022 Senate bid picked up momentum in the primary’s closing months.

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