One audience: The Republican candidate for governor of Nevada posts a campaign ad in Palm Beach, Florida.

One audience: The Republican candidate for governor of Nevada posts a campaign ad in Palm Beach, Florida.

CARSON CITY, Nevada (AP) – In his campaign announcement, Nevada governor candidate Michelle Fury got out of a Ford F-150 with a holster on her hip and told viewers that she was one of the first elected officials to endorse Donald Trump. In the run-up to the 2016 elections.

“You’d better believe I got attacked for that,” Fiori says, emphasizing her commitment to the former president as she plays country rock guitar in the background.

She hopes Trump is watching.

In addition to buying ads in Nevada media markets like its competitors, Fiore is investing campaign money to air a 60-second segment in Palm Beach, Florida, where the former president spends the winter at his Mar-a-Lago club.

Her campaign spent $6,270 to air 62 TV ads on Fox News in the West Palm Beach-Fort Pierce media market during the last week of November, the Federal Communications Commission showed. Trump splits his time since leaving office between Florida, his official residence, and the golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, where he spent most of last summer.

When Fiore’s ads aired over the Thanksgiving holiday, he and his family were in Mar-a-Lago.

Candidates and interest groups have long used targeted cable ads as a way to reach out to TV-obsessed Trump, often lining up at locations in Washington and Florida to get his attention when he’s in the White House or on vacation. Fury’s move reflects Trump’s continuing post-presidential influence in the Republican Party and underscores how his endorsement is seen as a potential game-changing agent by Republicans engaged in initial battles across the country.

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Since Trump left the White House, a great deal of competition has erupted for his interest in Florida. In one particularly vivid example, a multi-sided billboard on the avenue connecting Palm Beach International Airport to Mar-a-Lago is often decorated with messages from both supporters and detractors.

At the club, Trump has held dozens of fundraising and other events for Republicans running for the US Senate, the governor, and other offices, including Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem and Sarah Sanders, his former press secretary now running for governor of Arkansas. . The venue usually guarantees a strong showing, thanks to its loyal and paid membership and Trump’s frequent appearances, even at events it isn’t hosting.

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He has also welcomed a string of candidates seeking his support, including Idaho Gov. Janice McGeichen, who is running against incumbent Republican Gov. Brad Little. Trump endorsed McGillchen a week after her visit to Mar-a-Lago in November.

Fiore, a Las Vegas city councilwoman, is one of at least 10 candidates for governor of Nevada, a swing state that Trump narrowly lost in 2020.

She was elected in 2012 to the House of Nevada, where she championed gun rights and introduced a controversial proposal that would have significantly limited federal authority to administer Nevada’s public land and water. Her relationships with and support for Rancher Calvin Bundy and his family during armed confrontations between self-described militia and federal law enforcement brought her into the national spotlight in 2014 and 2016.

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This year, Fiore is working on a platform that includes opposing coronavirus mandates, supporting law enforcement against protesters it calls “domestic terrorists” and reversing Nevada’s decision to send all active voters by mail.

Other candidates in the June 2022 Republican primary include former US Senator Dean Heller, Clark County Mayor Joe Lombardo and Joey Gilbert, a Reno attorney who was outside the US Capitol during the rebellion last year. The winner will face Democratic Governor Steve Sisolak, who won by 5.1 percentage points in 2018.

Trump’s representatives did not respond to questions about whether he had seen Fury’s ad or planned to endorse a candidate in the Nevada gubernatorial race.

The Fiore campaign has also spent more than $100,000 airing ads in the cities of Reno, Las Vegas and Salt Lake City, as the media market extends to rural areas of northeastern Nevada.

Her campaign adviser, Rory McShane, said targeting the airwaves in Florida as well as Nevada is simply about reminding the former president of her longtime support.

“Many candidates are seeking Trump’s endorsement, but if you look back at four and five years, a lot of those same candidates were disavowing Trump and even holding anti-Trump rallies,” McShane said. “It is important to remind the President’s team that Michelle Fury is the only true First America candidate running for governor.”

From the archive (April 2021): The Nevada Republican Party blames an election official who defended the integrity of the 2020 election results

Heller, who told the Associated Press last week that he would also welcome Trump endorsement, clashed with Trump over efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act in 2017, but the two reconciled and campaigned together in 2018, when then-U.S. Representative Jackie Rosen Heller was defeated in Nevada Senate race.

Since 2020, Fiore is the only candidate running for a statewide office outside Florida to purchase advertising from Comcast CMCSA,
+ 0.65%And
Cable provider in the area, according to a review of FCC filings.

“What it tells me is that — assuming the goal here is to get attention from former President Trump — ads are aimed at a single audience, as opposed to an audience of thousands or millions of voters,” said Vanderbilt University professor John. Sides, a political scientist who has written about the effects of television advertising on political campaigns.

“The calculation is that if you can appear on the president’s radar or gain his support, that endorsement is worth investing in buying ads in a media market thousands of miles away,” Sides said.

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