Nevada Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D, has secured a second term in office. The incumbent defeated the state Attorney General Adam Laxalt, R, who was trying to flip the seat for the GOP.
This was a tight race between two candidates who have already proven they can win a statewide election in Nevada. In fact, Laxalt succeeded Cortez Masto as attorney general: She served from 2007 to 2015, and he has held the position ever since.
Cortez Masto made history when she was elected in 2016, becoming the first woman and first Latina to represent the state in the Senate. Laxalt comes from a prominent political family: His father was a U.S. senator from New Mexico, and his grandfather was the governor of Nevada.
This race was crucial to the Senate’s balance of power. To gain an outright majority, Democrats needed to hold the seat. So Cortez Masto brought in big names to campaign like former President Barack Obama and singer Camilla Cabello. Republicans needed to win in order to flip the Senate. Laxalt received help from former President Donald Trump, Senators like Tom Cotton of Arkansas and Ted Cruz of Texas, and governors like Florida’s Ron DeSantis. Laxalt fully embraced Trump’s support, appearing with both the former President and his son Don Jr.
The endorsements took an unusual turn when 14 members of the Laxalt family endorsed Cortez Masto and she took out full page ads in newspapers around the state showing the letter they signed saying she was the better choice.
This was the costliest race in Nevada history. Ad spending totaled more than $176 million, according to the tracking firm AdImpact.