Las Vegas Sun

May 25, 2019

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Conservatives, political figures attend a Nevada fundraiser

 Basque Fry at the Corley Ranch

Jason Bean / The Reno Gazette-Journal via AP

Kellyanne Conway, left, laughs with Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt during the 4th annual Basque Fry at the Corley Ranch in Gardnerville. on Saturday, Aug. 25, 2018.

GARDNERVILLE — Conservative officials and political figures descended on a northern Nevada ranch for the 4th annual Basque Fry fundraiser hosted by Republican Attorney General and gubernatorial candidate Adam Laxalt.

Saturday's cookout at a ranch in Gardnerville, about an hour outside of Reno, offered GOP officials and rising stars on the political right a chance to mingle with voters and Nevada politicians over traditional Basque dishes like deep-fried lamb testicles.

The event raised money for the Laxalt-aligned Morning in Nevada PAC, which gives money to conservative candidates and causes, and will likely help boost enthusiasm for Laxalt's own campaign for governor.

The grandson of former Nevada governor and U.S. Sen. Paul Laxalt comes from a family of Basque immigrant sheep herders who settled in Nevada.

Laxalt, who was elected attorney general in 2014 is in a tight race with Clark County Commission chair Steve Sisolak, a Democrat. They're vying to replace term-limited Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval, who is not endorsing Laxalt.

Laxalt is set to square off with Sisolak in the Nov. 6 general election.

Democrats, hoping to reclaim the governor's mansion and build on key Democratic wins in 2016, have made that race a priority.

Laxalt has embraced President Donald Trump on the campaign trail. He's also made anti-California and anti-progressive sentiment a key component of his stump speeches.

Former U.S. Rep. Cresent Hardy, a Republican running to retake Nevada's fourth congressional district, cautioning that if Republicans didn't turn out in November, Nevadans might as well start calling their state "Eastern California."

Laxalt rarely spoke during the four-hour event, though he was the only speaker who took note of a few dozen protesters picketing about a mile down the road.

More than 1,500 people attended Saturday's event that featured a star-studded slate of GOP speakers including White House adviser Kellyanne Conway, U.S. Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., and National Rifle Association spokeswoman Dana Loesch.