LAS VEGAS — A Republican pageant winner and business owner is running for Nevada's Senate seat currently held by Democrat Catherine Cortez Masto.
Sharelle Mendenhall filed as a candidate with the Federal Election Commission earlier this month and is scheduled to officially kick off her campaign Thursday evening with a rally in Las Vegas.
Mendenhall was Mrs. Nevada United States in 2020 and Ms. California United States in 2019. She is also the owner of Elite Expo Talent Agency, which hires models and talent for conventions and other events. Her campaign describes her as "a strong Christian, lifelong conservative" and supporter of former President Donald Trump.
She joins Reno businessman and Army veteran Sam Brown in the GOP primary. Brown is expected to hold a rally kicking off his campaign July 24.
Republican Adam Laxalt, the former Nevada attorney general, has said he's considering another run for public office and is expected to join the race as well.
Cortez Masto, who is seeking reelection, is the first Latina elected to the U.S. Senate. She was elected in 2016, winning the seat held by longtime Sen. Harry Reid after he retired.