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Senate GOP campaign chief believes Trump will back party’s pick in Nevada primary

Steve Daines, the Senate GOP’s campaigns chief, is encouraging former President Donald Trump to back the party’s preferred candidate in Nevada ahead of the June 11 primary. And Daines is bullish that it’s going to happen.

In an interview, Daines (R-Mont.) said he’s spoken to Trump twice in the past week about Sam Brown, a veteran who Republicans want to face Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.) in the perennial swing state. The chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee said “an endorsement may be coming, that’ll be the president’s decision, his timing.”

“I think he’s going to,” Daines said of Trump backing Brown. “This is a situation where President Trump helps Sam Brown. I think Sam Brown helps President Trump. He’s the guy President Trump wants standing by him … I think they help each other.”

Daines has successfully steered Trump toward other critical Senate endorsements, like Republican Tim Sheehy in Montana and Jim Justice in West Virginia. The NRSC chief has prioritized coordination with the former president after the 2022 midterm debacle, hoping to keep their priorities aligned as they attempt to retake the Senate.

“Chairman Daines strongly supports Sam and hopes President Trump will endorse him, but President Trump hasn’t made a commitment on that front,” NRSC spokesperson Mike Berg said.

There’s limited polling in the Nevada primary, though many GOP senators support Brown and there’s a feeling among Republicans that he’s the favorite — especially if he gets Trump’s endorsement at the finish line. Rosen will be tough to beat in a general election, but it appears Nevada will have competitive presidential, Senate and House races this November.

Brown is facing former Ambassador to Iceland Jeff Gunter, former state Rep. Jim Marchant and former lieutenant governor candidate Tony Grady. Republicans have made it pretty clear they think Brown is the one with the best chance against Rosen in a state where they haven’t won a Senate race since 2012 — though they’ve won statewide in several recent gubernatorial elections.

“President Trump has done a real good job working with the NRSC on supporting candidates,” said Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.). Brown is “already trending in the right direction. But I think [an endorsement] would remove any doubt. And I feel strongly we have to weigh in when there’s a clearly better candidate to match up against an incumbent.”

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