Former Trump official in crucial battleground Senate race hits back at major endorsement snub


A former Trump official running for Senate in the crucial swing state of Nevada hit back Monday after being snubbed for a major endorsement from his old boss.

Dr. Jeffrey Gunter, who served as the U.S. ambassador to Iceland, had hoped to win former President Trump’s backing in his bid to flip Nevada red, but that honor instead went to his primary opponent, former U.S. Army Capt. Sam Brown, late Sunday.

Both candidates and their respective supporters close to Trump had battled for weeks behind the scenes to win the former president’s backing.

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Dermatologist and former U.S. Ambassador to Iceland Dr. Jeffrey Gunter, former President Trump, and former U.S. Army Capt. Sam Brown (State Department/Getty Images/Sam Brown for Nevada)

“Mitch McConnell money wins, the American people lose. Rinse and repeat,” Gunter told Fox News Digital after news of the endorsement broke, a clear swipe at national Republicans who have remained staunchly behind Brown’s candidacy.

Gunter later claimed in an early Monday X post that the endorsement came down to a “big check,” something the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) dismissed as an “unglued” attack against Trump.

“California Democrat Jeff Gunter became totally unglued after President Trump endorsed war hero Sam Brown. Gunter took to Twitter to falsely smear President Trump and sounds more Adam Schiff than a conservative,” NRSC communications director Mike Berg told Fox.

Some close to Trump blasted Gunter for accusing Trump of “pay for play,” calling on him to delete the post.

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“Didn’t accuse President Trump of anything. Will always support him 110% His ‘top advisers’ on the other hand, have some explaining to do,” Gunter responded in another post.

Fox News Digital interviewed Gunter just hours before Trump announced his endorsement of Brown on Truth Social. He expressed confidence heading into Tuesday’s primary, citing internal polling he said showed him either tied or leading Brown.

“Word on the street is we’re doing great, very exciting, and we’re working hard,” Gunter said. “So we’re very optimistic that we will make Nevada great again as the true Trump supporter 110% and MAGA candidate.”

Brown’s campaign has also cited internal polls, but they show him with a significant lead over Gunter, who argues he is the only one in the race able to defeat incumbent Democrat Sen. Jacky Rosen in the general election.

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Jeff Gunter

Former Ambassador to Iceland Jeff Gunter is running for Senate in Nevada as a Republican. (Dr. Jeff Gunter for Senate)

Gunter cited polls showing Rosen leading Brown, but a New York Times poll released last month showed Brown and Rosen tied at 41% each with a number still undecided. Little independent polling has been done on a hypothetical matchup between Gunter and Rosen.

“I am the true MAGA candidate… If you like Mitch McConnell, and if you like Nikki Haley, then maybe you’ll like Sam Brown,” Gunter said. “But if you like America First, and if you love Donald Trump – I worked for him. I was his U.S. ambassador, and I’m true to my principles, and, I’m your guy. And that’s why we’re surging so much and doing so well in the great state of Nevada.”

Gunter said his experience as an ambassador and doctor, as well as his “loyalty” to Trump, were what undecided voters should consider as they head to the polls.

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Fox News Digital repeatedly attempted to interview Brown ahead of Tuesday’s primary, but his campaign would not commit to doing so at the time of this article’s publishing.

Rosen is expected to easily win her primary on Tuesday, and will likely face either Brown or Gunter in the general election.

Republicans view Nevada as one of the party’s top flip opportunities as it seeks to win back control of the Senate from Democrats, who currently hold a slim 51-49 majority. 

Get the latest updates from the 2024 campaign trail, exclusive interviews and more at our Fox News Digital election hub.



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