Five Senate races to watch: Catherine Cortez Masto vs Adam Laxalt in Nevada

© Studio graphique FMM

Catherine Cortez Masto has the dubious honor of being considered the Democrats’ most vulnerable senator in the 2022 midterms, facing off a challenge from Republican Adam Laxalt, a former state attorney general.

Catherine Cortez Masto, 58, worked as a federal prosecutor in Washington, DC, before winning election to serve as state attorney general, where she spearheaded high-profile prosecutions of drug- and sex-traffickers and passed a law to make sex trafficking a felony. She also helped make it possible for victims of domestic and sexual violence to sue the perpetrators.

The granddaughter of a Mexican immigrant from Chihuahua, she was the first Latina elected to serve in the US Senate when she began her first term in 2017. And yet now she finds herself fighting for the sizeable Latino vote in her state, where the Senate race is one of the closest.

A conservative super PAC is spending nearly $2 million on Spanish-language ads looking to paint her as soft on crime despite Cortez Masto having been endorsed by the Nevada Police Union.

To hear her tell it, she always expected the race to be close.

But her even-handed attitude and careful demeanor may be as much of a hindrance as a help, according to at least one ally.


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