Home>Articles>Exclusive: GOP Senate Candidate Jeff Gunter Targets Rival Sam Brown’s ‘Toxic’ Support of Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Facility

Dr. Jeff Gunter, GOP candidate for U.S. Senate (Photo: Jeff Gunter for US Senate)

Exclusive: GOP Senate Candidate Jeff Gunter Targets Rival Sam Brown’s ‘Toxic’ Support of Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Facility

Recent polling data suggests that Brown’s support of Yucca Mountain is ‘political kryptonite’

By Megan Barth, May 14, 2024 11:28 am

Later today, GOP Senate primary candidate Dr. Jeff Gunter will release a statewide ad targeting rival Captain Sam Brown’s support of the Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Repository, a position that is aligned with Senator Mitch McConnell and opposed by former President Donald Trump. In the ad, Gunter highlights his alliance with Trump and paints Brown as an establishment candidate who “has sold out to Mitch McConnell.”

The upcoming ad underscores Gunter’s position: “I am resolutely opposed to the Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Repository project. It’s an absolute overreach by the federal government to impose such a hazardous burden on the great state of Nevada without the consent of its people…We need a Senator who protects families, not politicians,” Gunter warns.

(Polling data provided by Kaplan Strategies)

The thirty-second ad aligns with former President Donald Trump’s opposition to the project, emphasizing the risk to both the environment and the health of Nevadans, while condemning Washington’s elitism and disregard for local concerns. Senator Jacky Rosen has publicly opposed the project referring to it as a “nuclear dumping ground.”

Last week, Nevada Democrats held a press conference criticizing Brown’s support of Yucca Mountain. “This issue isn’t Republicans versus Democrats, it’s Sam Brown versus Nevada,” said Rory Reid, former chair of the Clark County Commission and the son of the late Sen. Harry Reid. “Mr. Brown’s position ignores the collective wisdom of almost every other Nevadan that has ever been elected to serve this state in any capacity,” Reid told The Las Vegas Sun.

In 2020, President Trump reversed his support of the project after the United States had spent billions of dollars over decades to open the repository. At the time, Trump voiced his opposition on X (formerly Twitter) stating, “Nevada, I hear you on Yucca Mountain and my Administration will RESPECT you!” The administration is committed to exploring innovative approaches, he wrote, adding “I’m confident we can get it done.”

Recent poll data by Kaplan Strategies highlights the impact of this issue on the Nevada electorate: 46 percent of respondents are less likely to support Brown after learning of his approval for storing nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain, compared to only 14 percent who are more supportive. The survey included 515 likely GOP primary voters with a margin of error of plus/minus five percent.

Dr. Gunter’s campaign General Consultant and Chief Strategist John Thomas told The Globe, “The data shows that Brown’s position on Yucca Mountain, is not only a highly problematic stance against President Trump’s position, but absolutely fatal to his campaign. In pollster speak, this is fatal…lights out. There is no running from it.  That is why Rosen and her allies are already all over this. It is highly likely this issue is so toxic that Brown will actually be a drag on the entire statewide ticket, including Trump, and potentially costing Trump to lose the state of Nevada. This is like political kryptonite, ruining everyone it its orbit on the ticket. It’s not surprising though, Scam Brown is bought and paid for by Mitch McConnell who also supports this.”

Dr. Gunter added, “Scam Brown is scheming to make Nevada a dumping ground for toxic nuclear waste, just miles away from schools. President Trump and I want to block the swamp’s Yucca plan. But Scam is siding with lobbyists in the DC swamp. I say we put Nevadans first. Why doesn’t Scam agree?”

Although both GOP candidates have endorsed Trump, Trump has yet to make an endorsement in the critical race for control of the U.S. Senate. On a campaign stop in Reno, Nevada earlier this year, President Trump refered to the GOP U.S. Senate primary as “interesting.”

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