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Adam Laxalt
Adam Laxalt by Gage Skidmore (cropped).jpg
33rd Attorney General of Nevada
In office
January 5, 2015 – January 7, 2019
Governor Brian Sandoval
Preceded by Catherine Cortez Masto
Succeeded by Aaron Ford
Personal details
Adam Paul Laxalt

(1978-08-31) August 31, 1978 (age 44)
Reno, Nevada, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Jaime Laxalt
Children 4
Relatives Paul Laxalt (grandfather)
  • Attorney
  • politician
Website Campaign website
Military service
Allegiance  United States
Branch/service  United States Navy
Years of service 2005–2010
Rank Lieutenant
Unit Judge Advocate General's Corps
Battles/wars Iraq War
Awards Joint Service Commendation Medal

Adam Paul Laxalt (/ˈlæksɔːlt/; born August 31, 1978) is an American attorney and politician who served as the 33rd Nevada Attorney General from 2015 to 2019. A member of the Republican Party, he was an unsuccessful candidate for governor of Nevada in 2018 and for the U.S. Senate in 2022.

Laxalt is the son of former U.S. Senator Pete Domenici of New Mexico and grandson of former Nevada governor and U.S. senator Paul Laxalt. He graduated from Georgetown University and its law school before working as an aide to then-Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs John R. Bolton and Virginia U.S. Senator John Warner. He worked as a lawyer in private practice and was a member of the Navy Judge Advocate General's Corps from 2005 to 2010.

Elected in 2014, Laxalt served one term as the attorney general of Nevada from 2015 to 2019. .....

He unsuccessfully ran for governor of Nevada in 2018, losing to Democrat Steve Sisolak. Laxalt co-chaired Donald Trump's 2020 unsuccessful reelection campaign in Nevada. After Trump lost the 2020 election and refused to concede, Trump and Laxalt made false claims of large-scale fraud in Nevada's election and sought to overturn the election results.

Early life and education

Laxalt was born in Reno, Nevada, the son of Pete Domenici, a Republican U.S. Senator from New Mexico, and Michelle Laxalt. He is the grandson of former Republican Nevada Governor and U.S. Senator Paul Laxalt. Laxalt's mother raised him as a single parent. Laxalt's parents did not publicly acknowledge his paternity until 2013. At that time, Domenici acknowledged that Laxalt was his son and was born as a result of an extramarital affair.

After graduating from St. Stephen's & St. Agnes School, a college preparatory school in Alexandria, Virginia, Laxalt enrolled at Tulane University. After attending Tulane for two years, he transferred to Georgetown University, where he graduated magna cum laude in 2001 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and government. He graduated from Georgetown University Law Center with a Juris Doctor degree in 2005.


Laxalt first worked for then-Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs John R. Bolton, before joining the office of Virginia U.S. Senator John Warner. After leaving Washington, Laxalt worked for the law firm Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie at its Reno office until 2014, when he left the firm to concentrate on his bid for attorney general.

Military service

Laxalt spent five years in the United States Navy's Judge Advocate General's Corps. He had postings at Naval Air Station Sigonella in Italy and in Iraq, and a stint at the U.S. Naval Academy as an assistant law professor.

Attorney general of Nevada

After practicing with Lewis Roca Rothgerber, Laxalt considered a campaign for Nevada Attorney General. In January 2014, he announced his candidacy. Laxalt was the Republican nominee in the general election. After a bitter and costly general election campaign, Laxalt defeated Democratic nominee Ross Miller. During the campaign, Laxalt said that he opposed same-sex marriage; in 2010, he said that he opposed LGBT individuals openly serving in the military.

Laxalt was sworn in as attorney general of Nevada on January 5, 2015. As AG, he created the "Federalism Unit" within the AG's office and challenged federal environmental protection regulations, including the Environmental Protection Agency's Waters of the United States Rule and the Bureau of Land Management's Sage Grouse Plan. Laxalt also joined lawsuits against the Obama administration over a U.S. Department of Labor regulation to protect certain employees' right to overtime pay, and over Obama's executive action creating the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) programs.

In a 2017 speech at a National Rifle Association (NRA) event in Atlanta, Georgia, Laxalt criticized a red flag bill that the Nevada Senate had passed. In 2018, months after the NRA called for greater adoption of these laws, he recommended that the legislature consider such a law.


Laxalt signed onto a California lawsuit to support keeping secret the identities of political donors, including one of his biggest political donors, the Americans for Prosperity Foundation, backed by Charles and David Koch. He opposed a multi-state investigation into ExxonMobil's alleged role in downplaying climate change, condemning it as an attempt to stifle an "ongoing public policy debate" over human-caused global warming. Laxalt took legal action to keep fraud investigators from scrutinizing groups connected to the Koch network, which went on to spend $2.5 million to support Laxalt's gubernatorial campaign.

Laxalt created the Office of Military Legal Assistance, which provided free legal services to veterans.

2018 Nevada gubernatorial campaign

Laxalt was the Republican nominee for governor of Nevada in the 2018 election, defeating four other candidates to win the nomination. He lost to the Democratic nominee, Clark County Commission chair Steve Sisolak, in the general election; Sisolak become the first Democrat to win the governorship in 20 years. Sisolak received 49.39% of the vote to Laxalt's 45.31%.


During his 2018 gubernatorial campaign, Laxalt released a health care plan that "reiterated Laxalt's long standing opposition to Obamacare, but pledged not to roll back Medicaid coverage the law helped extend to more than 200,000 of Nevada's poorest residents."

Laxalt was endorsed by President Donald Trump. Incumbent Republican Governor Brian Sandoval did not endorse a candidate in the election to succeed him, saying he would not "support a candidate that is going to undo anything that I put forward." During Sandoval's tenure as governor, he and Laxalt had a frequently tense relationship, with disagreements over tax policy, environmental regulations and gambling regulations.

Laxalt was endorsed by Storey County Sheriff Gerald Antinoro in November 2017. Laxalt faced scrutiny for initially declining to disavow Antinoro's campaign support. ..... In July 2018, Laxalt released an investigative report into Antinoro and announced that he would not pursue criminal charges. After the investigation concluded, Laxalt announced he would no longer campaign with Antinoro or use his endorsement.

Donald Trump 2020 election campaign

Laxalt co-chaired Donald Trump's 2020 reelection campaign in Nevada. Before Election Day, he unsuccessfully sought to stop Nevada from counting early-voting ballots from Clark County (the state's most populous, Democratic-leaning county, containing Las Vegas).

After Trump lost Nevada to Joe Biden, Laxalt claimed without evidence that large-scale voter fraud had occurred in Nevada and sought to overturn the election results. He and other Trump campaign officials provided no information supporting their claim of fraud. Laxalt presented a list of 3,062 voters he said were non-residents who voted absentee in Clark County. Nevada residents such as military personnel, students, and congressional staffers do not have to live in Nevada to be eligible voters in the state. At least 146 of the names on Laxalt's list, which the Trump campaign claimed was evidence of "criminal voter fraud", were linked to military base addresses or diplomatic postal addresses.

Laxalt also claimed that 200,000 mail-in ballot votes were verified by machine only and that these machines were unable to match signatures on ballots to those on file; in fact, ballots that could not be assessed by machines were verified by people.

2022 U.S. Senate campaign

In August 2021, Laxalt announced his candidacy for the 2022 United States Senate election in Nevada, challenging the incumbent, Democrat Catherine Cortez Masto. He announced his candidacy with a video in which he said that "the radical left, rich elites, woke corporations, academia and the media" were "taking over America". The campaign is viewed as among the most competitive Senate races in 2022.

Laxalt won the Republican primary in June 2022.

On November 12, 2022, major media outlets projected that Laxalt lost to Cortez Masto in the Senate election, guaranteeing the Democrats fifty seats in the Senate and control of the chamber in the 118th Congress.

Personal life

In 1997, Laxalt was arrested for driving under the influence. He has acknowledged having a drinking problem in his teens. He received treatment at the Hazelden Foundation and says he has been sober since the age of 19.

Laxalt is married to Jaime, with whom he has four children.

Electoral history

Nevada Attorney General election, 2014
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Adam Laxalt 251,539 46.21 +10.21
Democratic Ross Miller 246,671 45.31 -7.49
Independent American Jonathan Hansen 30,530 5.61 -2.19
None of These Candidates None of These Candidates 15,643 2.87 -0.83
Total votes 544,383 100
Republican gain from Democrat Swing +18.05
Nevada gubernatorial election, 2018
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Steve Sisolak 480,007 49.39% +25.51%
Republican Adam Laxalt 440,320 45.31% -25.27%
None of These Candidates None of These Candidates 18,865 1.94% -0.94%
Independent Ryan Bundy 13,891 1.43% N/A
Independent American Russell Best 10,076 1.04% -1.62%
Libertarian Jared Lord 8,640 0.89% N/A
Total votes 971,799 100.00 N/A
Democrat gain from Republican Swing

See also

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