Former Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt speaks to the news media during a press conference by members of Donald J. Trump for President, Inc., outside Clark County Election Department on November 5, 2020, in North Las Vegas.
CNN  — 

Former Nevada state Attorney General Adam Laxalt launched his campaign for US Senate on Tuesday, comparing his campaign against Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto to the Star Wars’ battles between the Rebels and the Empire.

After images of his three children watching the movies, dressing up in costumes and playing with lightsabers and a X-wing starfighter, Laxalt said in a video that “the radical left, rich elites, woke corporations, academia, Hollywood and the media” are “taking over America.”

“That’s your Empire right there, telling lie after lie, making excuses for chaos and violence, censoring truth that doesn’t fit their agenda, amplifying anger and envy,” Laxalt said. “They demand control, ruthlessly enforcing conformity, canceling any who stand in their way. But the truth is, we must stand in their way.”

Laxalt, the grandson of former Nevada governor and senator Paul Laxalt, is the highest-profile Republican candidate running against Cortez Masto. While there are other GOP running for the seat – retired Army veteran Sam Brown and business owner Sharelle Mendenhall – Laxalt has already earned the praise of National Republican Senatorial Committee chair Rick Scott and other senators.

But Republicans have struggled in Nevada in recent years. Donald Trump lost by 2.4 points to Joe Biden in 2020 and to Hillary Clinton in 2016. And in 2018, Laxalt lost to Democrat Steve Sisolak in the 2018 gubernatorial election by four points.

Three out of the state’s four US House seats are held by Democrats, as are both US Senate seats. The state legislature is also currently controlled by Democrats.

Laxalt, a Navy veteran, did not mention Trump or the 2020 election in his campaign video. He instead touted his work on behalf of victims of rape and human trafficking, guardianship abuse and the opioid crisis, and turned his sights on Democrats.

“We’re the Rebels. They’re the Empire,” he said. “We are the good guys, and for all our kids, we’re not going to let the bad guys win.”

But Democrats immediately attacked the former state attorney general for co-chairing Trump’s campaign in Nevada, and joining a lawsuit to overturn Biden’s victory there. The lawsuit was rejected in district court and the Nevada Supreme Court. And Nevada Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske, a Republican, found no “evidentiary support” for allegations of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election.

Democrats also sharply criticized his term as state attorney general, charging that he worked to protect his donors rather than Nevadans.

“Adam Laxalt was rejected in 2018 because he has been corrupt and dishonest with Nevadans his entire career,” Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee spokesman Jazmin Vargas said. “There’s nothing Laxalt won’t do or say to benefit his special interest donors and allies, from his pay-to-play schemes as Attorney General to his lies about election fraud in 2020 and his efforts to overturn the election for Trump. Nevadans know they can’t trust Laxalt and will once again reject his self-serving politics in 2022.”