- Associated Press - Thursday, October 16, 2014

LAS VEGAS (AP) - A group of relatives of Republican Nevada attorney general candidate Adam Laxalt wrote a public letter supporting his opponent, saying Democrat Ross Miller is more qualified to be the state’s top prosecutor.

The letter to the editor published Thursday in the Las Vegas Sun (https://bit.ly/1wbXVPZ ) was signed by Laxalt’s aunts, Kevin and Neena Laxalt, as well as his cousins Kevan Laxalt, Kristin Laxalt, Michelle Laxalt, Peter Laxalt and Meggan Laxalt Mackey.

“We can no longer be silent as we seek to maintain the integrity of our home state of Nevada,” the letter reads. “It is our belief that Ross Miller’s documented history of pulling himself up by his own bootstraps and establishing a well-respected career in law and public service while still maintaining a strong sense of family and community constitute the critical characteristics needed for Nevada’s highest legal office.”

Robert Uithoven, a campaign consultant for Adam Laxalt, responded by saying it was disgusting that internal family differences were being exploited in the campaign. He noted that the Laxalt family is large and many other members support Adam Laxalt, including his grandfather, former Nevada governor and U.S. Senator Paul Laxalt.

His mother, who is also named Michelle Laxalt, voiced support for her son in light of the letter.

“Nevada is full of large families, all of whom may not adore one another at all times. I doubt Nevadans are truly interested with family beefs that are not their own,” she said in a statement. “Many of us are so proud and supportive of Adam, his military service to our nation and his desire to serve in public office.”

The Laxalt name carries special weight in state politics, especially in northern Nevada and among longtime residents who remember Paul Laxalt’s governorship in the 1960s and 1970s and his time as a senator in the 1970s and 1980s.

The name also was elevated by Paul Laxalt’s brother Robert Laxalt, a prominent author who wrote about his family’s Basque roots and romanticized the state’s Basque sheepherding history.

Miller, the son of former Nevada Gov. Bob Miller, likewise comes from a politically connected family with decades of history in the state.

The contest between the two has grown increasingly heated, and has launched the most expensive TV commercial spending war of any race in the state.

Ross Miller and his supporters had spent more than $1 million on TV ad time as of Oct. 13, while Laxalt and his supporters had shelled out more than $1.3 million, according to data from the Center for Public Integrity.

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