by Michael Lyle, Nevada Current
Former President Donald Trump, whose endorsement has been coveted by Nevada Republicans throughout the state including those running for governor, backed Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo Wednesday night.
Trump announced his endorsement of Lombardo Wednesday evening as his fellow Floridian, Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, was appearing at a campaign event with Nevada GOP Senate candidate Adam Laxalt. DeSantis is often mentioned as a potential challenger to Trump for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination.
“As Governor, Joe will fiercely protect our under-siege Second Amendment, oppose sanctuary cities, support our law enforcement, veto any liberal tax increase, protect life, and secure our elections,” Trump wrote. “Joe Lombardo is the leader Nevada needs, and he has my complete and total endorsement for governor!
In the few appearances he has had, Lombardo has campaigned on far right issues including proposed efforts to promote “election integrity,” supporting Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill and opposing “sanctuary cities.”
In his recent ad, which debuted April 25, boasted that he has “locked up and deported” criminals.
“I’ve deported thousands,” he claimed in the ad.
Lombardo’s website says he’ll keep Nevada “Safe from Antifa. Safe from Anarchy. Safe from Socialism.”
Early on in the campaign, Lombardo even removed a photo of him receiving the Covid-19 vaccination, a politicized issue enabled by Trump.
But Lombardo has also said that he recognizes Joe Biden as the legitimate president, telling the Nevada Independent in March that “The evidence was not brought forward that we could prosecute on [fraud]…. Thirty-four years in law enforcement, that’s what I base a lot of my decision on, is actual evidence and not anecdotal information.”
A recent Suffolk University poll has Lombardo beating Sisolak by 39% to 37% and North Las Vegas Mayor John Lee, a Democrat until recently, also beating Sisolak 40% to 37%.
On the news of Trump’s endorsement, Sisolak’s campaign issued a statement Wednesday night noting that both times he ran for president, Trump lost Nevada.
Other candidates running for governor have actively sought Trump’s endorsement.
U.S. Sen. Dean Heller, who had a sometimes rocky relationship with Trump before backing him wholeheartedly, said in September he would “love to have President Trump again supporting this campaign” despite in 2019 Trump telling Heller’s 2018 loss was because he failed to embrace him.
Las Vegas City Councilwoman Michele Fiore, who launched her campaign for governor in January but changed course and filed to run to become Nevada Treasurer, invested campaign funds on a commercial to run in the Florida market that is home to Trump’s Mar-a-Lago property.
Reno attorney Joey Gilbert, a vocal supporter of the Big Lie promoted by Trump that there was mass voter fraud in the 2020 election (there is no evidence of this) and Trump actually won (that’s false), was at the U.S. Capital on Jan. 6 2020.
He told Nevada Current he condemns the violence but does not regret that he was there.
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