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Why Is Laxalt Letting Antinoro Use His Image to Boost Re-Election Bid?

On Saturday, Republican gubernatorial candidate Adam Laxalt sent a cease-and-desist letter to Republican assembly candidate James Oscarson asking Oscarson to remove Laxalt’s likeness from campaign materials because Laxalt has not and will not endorse in the primary for that assembly seat. So why hasn’t Laxalt asked Storey County Sheriff Gerald Antinoro to remove this photo of him with Laxalt from his “Antinoro for Sheriff” Facebook page? Is it because Laxalt has actually endorsed Antinoro’s re-election campaign?

Last month, Laxalt told Las Vegas’ 8 News Now that he couldn’t renounce Antinoro’s endorsement of his gubernatorial campaign because it would “prejudge” the investigation his office was conducting into the sheriff’s conduct, even though he was scheduled to campaign with Antinoro that weekend. Last week, The Nevada Independent reported that Laxalt’s office may not even be investigating the sheriff at all, and has filed a public records request to obtain any proof that the investigation exists.

Antinoro has received multiple allegations of professional and criminal misconduct. He was found by an independent investigation to have sexually harassed an employee, who is now suing him. Additionally, the sheriff has been accused of “numerous….more than 10” acts of misconduct, including sexual harassment, by other subordinates, and was accused of rape.

Nevada State Democratic Party spokeswoman Helen Kalla released the following statement:

“If Adam Laxalt has such strong objections to his likeness being used by campaigns he hasn’t endorsed, why hasn’t he asked Sheriff Antinoro to remove the photo of them from his Facebook page? Lending his likeness to benefit the political campaign of someone his office claims to be investigating is entirely inappropriate and unethical. By allowing Antinoro to display this photo, Laxalt is tacitly endorsing a sheriff who’s been accused of rape and admitted to sexual harassment, and is casting serious doubts on the integrity of his office’s supposed investigation.”