(Reuters) – A Republican candidate for governor of Nevada ran into some stiff opposition on Tuesday from members of his own family, who urged voters not to pick him as the state’s chief executive.
Adam Laxalt, the 40-year-old Nevada attorney general and grandson of the late Paul Laxalt – a giant in Nevada politics – handily won the Republican gubernatorial primary and holds a razor-thin lead over Democratic opponent Steve Sisolak in opinion polls, two weeks ahead of the Nov. 6 election. President Donald Trump has endorsed Laxalt.
The victor will replace outgoing Republican Governor Brian Sandoval.
But in an op-ed published in the Reno Gazette Journal newspaper, a dozen of Laxalt’s relatives – including aunts and cousins – characterized the Republican nominee as an outsider who was raised in Washington, D.C. and moved to Nevada in 2013 to pursue his political ambitions.
“For those of us who were actually raised in Nevada, it’s difficult to hear him continue to falsely claim that he was raised in Nevada or has any true connections to Nevadans,” his relatives wrote, saying they felt “compelled” to protect the family name from being exploited.
Laxalt’s relations also oppose his positions on healthcare, immigration, reproductive rights, marriage, education and public land use. The family members did not disclose their respective political affiliations in the column.
“Adam has a large family and some distant relatives are lifelong liberal activists, donors and operatives,” a Laxalt campaign spokesman said in a statement.
In the op-ed, the family predicted Laxalt would say he hardly knew the authors and that would be because he did not grow up in Nevada like they had.
Last month, six siblings of Arizona Republican Congressman Paul Gosar endorsed his Democratic opponent David Brill in television ads.
Laxalt’s grandfather Paul Laxalt, who died in August, was one of former President Ronald Reagan’s closest political friends and served Nevada as governor and U.S. senator.
(Reporting by David Morgan, editing by G Crosse)