Nevada attorney general Adam Laxalt — who won an upset bid to become the nation’s youngest AG in 2014 — will endorse Ted Cruz for president this morning.
Sources close to Laxalt say the decision materialized as Cruz began to climb to the top of the polls in Iowa. The attorney general and the Texas senator share a staunchly conservative, tea-party ideology, but the same sources say Laxalt — for whom electability is a prime concern — had previously been skeptical that Cruz could appeal to voters beyond his base.
Republican candidates had been heavily courting Laxalt for months — Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush sought out his endorsement as early as last summer. He initially considered throwing his weight behind Scott Walker, before the Wisconsin governor suspended his campaign in October. That he’s now chosen to go with Cruz is yet another sign that his Nevada operations are catching fire, and present a growing threat to the impressive ground game Rubio has had in the state since July.
Laxalt’s AG bid was managed by Nevada consultant Robert Uithoven, who is now running Cruz’s operations across the state. In a recent interview, when asked if the connection would factor into his ultimate decision, Laxalt was firm: “I’m my own man,” he said.
Laxalt will annnounce his endorsement on Las Vegas’s Heidi Harris Show at 7:30 a.m., local time.
Update: See Laxalt’s full remarks below:
— Elaina Plott is a William F. Buckley Fellow in Political Journalism at the National Review Institute.