- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 14, 2014

RENO, Nev. (AP) - Las Vegas lawyer Adam Laxalt, grandson of former Nevada Republican governor and U.S. Sen. Paul Laxalt, announced his candidacy for state attorney general on Tuesday in what could become a matchup against the Democratic son of another popular ex-governor.

Two-term Secretary of State Ross Miller, son of former Gov. Bob Miller, says he has raised nearly $900,000 in his campaign for the Democratic nomination.

Laxalt, 35, announced his candidacy at a Reno Republican Men’s Club luncheon with a call for the same conservative brand of small government that his grandfather preached for decades before retiring in 1986.

“I believe the people of Nevada - not the federal government - should be in control of decisions that most affect our families,” said Laxalt, a former U.S. Navy judge advocate general who said he assisted with the prosecution of terrorists in a war zone during his one tour in Iraq.

“It is my belief that smaller government fosters job growth and that by working with law enforcement we can lower Nevada’s crime rate,” he said.

Laxalt is the son of Michelle Laxalt, daughter of the iconic Nevada senator who was a close friend of President Ronald Reagan and a finalist to serve as his running mate in 1980. It was revealed last year that Adam Laxalt’s father is former U.S. Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M.

Gov. Brian Sandoval, a former U.S. district judge and state attorney general, was among those who immediately lined up to endorse Laxalt, whose candidacy was widely anticipated.

Former National Republican Committee Chairman Frank Fahrenkopf Jr. said he has known Adam Laxalt since he was a child.

Laxalt is “made of the metal to be a fearless leader and dedicated public servant,” Fahrenkopf said.

Paul Laxalt was elected governor in 1966. He left after one term to join his family in a hotel-casino venture but returned to politics in 1974 after defeating Democrat Harry Reid by 611 votes in a recount for the Senate seat he held until his retirement.

It’s not the first time Miller likely will find himself up against a household Nevada name in what is sure to be an expensive general election.

Miller was first elected secretary of state in 2006 after a race against Republican Danny Tarkanian, son of famed UNLV basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian.

Miller welcomed Laxalt to the campaign and promised an aggressive campaign.

Miller began his career in the Clark County district attorney’s office.


AP correspondent Sandra Chereb in Carson City contributed to this report.

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