Adam Laxalt, Sam Brown to debate next month

Army veteran Sam Brown, left, and former Nevada attorney general Adam Laxalt are set to debate ...

The candidate debates cometh.

Last week, we got our first debate in the Republican primary for the right to challenge Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto. There was just one problem: Neither of the top polling candidates in that race — former Attorney General Adam Laxalt and Army veteran Sam Brown — took part.

For those wanting to see Laxalt and Brown square off on the issues, you’ll have to wait another month.

Laxalt and Brown are set to debate on May 9 on the Nevada Newsmakers television program. The 1-hour debate will take place inside the show’s studio in Reno at 8 a.m. and will be moderated by Newsmakers host Sam Shad and Las Vegas Review-Journal columnist Victor Joecks.

The debate will be uploaded online, and will also be broadcast in Las Vegas, though not until five days after it occurs. It will air on May 14 at 5:30 a.m. on MyLV TV and at 6 a.m. on Cox Channel 12.

Laxalt and Brown will be the only two in the debate, as no other candidate has reached 5 percent in a respected poll. A poll released last month that was conducted by WPA Intelligence showed Laxalt with 57 percent of the primary vote, followed by Brown at 19 percent. No other candidate got above 1 percent in the poll.

Brown, who has posted surprisingly strong fundraising numbers thus far, has been critical of the debate format, and says Laxalt is refusing to agree to a live debate in prime time.

John Burke, Laxalt’s campaign spokesman, pointed to the recent poll numbers and said that Brown is “desperate for attention.”

“We’ve already agreed to do a debate that will be broadcast multiple times on statewide television and radio and will also be available online to any Nevadans who wish to view it. If debate drama is the only issue that matters to Brown’s lackluster campaign, it’s no surprise that he lost his recent state assembly primary in Texas, and it’s no surprise his message is falling completely flat with grassroots Nevada conservatives,” Burke said in a statement.

Brown’s campaign responded, calling Laxalt a “career politician” who doesn’t want to debate his record.

“And who can blame him? He didn’t debate in 2018, and we have Adam Laxalt to thank for Steve Sisolak, mask mandates, and school shut downs,” Brown’s campaign said in a statement.”

During the 2018 race for Nevada governor, Sisolak and Laxalt never came to an agreement on debating one another, with Sisolak declining to participate in a debate Laxalt had agreed to with the Review-Journal and KSNV Channel 3, and Laxalt declining to take part in one Sisolak had agreed to with KLAS Channel 8.

The Laxalt-Brown debate isn’t the only Republican primary debate of note coming up.

Republican Rep. Mark Amodei will debate primary challenger Douglas County Commissioner Danny Tarkanian on April 11, a debate that will also be moderated by Shad on the Nevada Newsmakers show. That debate will be broadcast on Newsmakers on April 12.

Deadline to opt-out of mail-in nears

April 15 is the last day Nevadans can opt out of receiving a mail-in ballot for the upcoming June 14 primary elections. Those that don’t will receive a ballot in the mail under the bill signed into law last summer that made Nevada the sixth state to enact a permanent vote-by-mail system.

It will still be possible to vote in-person if you don’t opt out of receiving a ballot, but you should turn in your mail ballot when you do to confirm you won’t be voting twice.

To opt out of receiving a mail ballot, the secretary of state’s office has set up an online process to easily update your preference for mail or in-person voting. That can be accessed at

Reminder: the deadline to “opt-out” of a mail-in ballot is April 15! If you do not want to receive a mail-in ballot, update your preference here:

— Nevada Elections (@NVElect) April 7, 2022

You’ll need to provide your birthdate as well as your driver’s license number or the last four digits of your Social Security number to access the system and make the preference changes.

Show us the money

April 15 marks another deadline for candidates, too. Candidates running for federal and non-federal races have until then to file their latest quarterly campaign expense reports.

These fundraising reports can be one indicator of a candidate’s momentum, especially in the primaries as they vie for the party nominations.

If the fundraising numbers we saw candidates report at the beginning of the year are any indicator, expect to see some eye-popping totals as those reports come in.

Contact Colton Lochhead at Follow @ColtonLochhead on Twitter.