Republican U.S. Senatorial candidate Sam Brown, with his wife Amy...

Republican U.S. Senatorial candidate Sam Brown, with his wife Amy Brown, signs in at the Secretary of State office as he arrives to files his paperwork to run for the Senate, Thursday, March 14, 2024, at the State Capitol in Carson City, Nev. Brown is seeking to replace incumbent U.S. Sen. Jacky Rosen. Credit: AP/Andy Barron

CARSON CITY, Nev. — Retired Army Capt. Sam Brown, who lost Nevada’s 2022 GOP Senate primary, filed his formal candidacy Thursday for the seat held by first-term Sen. Jacky Rosen in a race Republicans have targeted nationally as one of their best chances to knock off an incumbent Democrat.

Brown, a Purple Heart recipient, has been considered the early GOP front-runner in a crowded primary field since he announced he was running last summer, less than a year after he lost his bid to challenge Nevada's other Democratic senator in the western battleground state.

Last time, Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto went on to defeat Republican Adam Laxalt by just 8,000 votes in the western battleground state — the closest Senate race in the nation in 2022.

Brown, who was nearly killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan that scarred his face, has made national security a priority in his campaign again this time around while painting Rosen as a loyalist to President Joe Biden and Democratic leaders.

“The Biden administration and Democrat leadership in the Senate have not served Nevadans well. This is a movement of `We the People' and we are going to put people over politics,” Brown said at a rally outside the state capitol in Carson City after he and his wife, Amy, submitted his filing papers at the secretary of state's office.

“Joe Biden and Jacky Rosen had their chance, and they’ve destroyed the American Dream," he wrote in a post Thursday on X, previously known as Twitter.

Laxalt won ex-President Donald Trump’s endorsement in the 2022 race and called Brown a carpetbagger who moved to Nevada after he unsuccessfully ran for a seat in the Texas state Legislature in 2014.

Republican U.S. Senatorial candidate Sam Brown talks with supporters after...

Republican U.S. Senatorial candidate Sam Brown talks with supporters after filing his paperwork to run for the Senate, Thursday, March 14, 2024, at the State Capitol in Carson City, Nev. Brown is seeking to replace incumbent U.S. Sen. Jacky Rosen. Credit: AP/Andy Barron

Brown's GOP primary opponents include Jim Marchant, a former state Assembly member who lost the 2022 race for Nevada secretary of state after promoting Trump’s lies of a stolen 2020 election, and Tony Grady, an Air Force veteran and former candidate for lieutenant governor.

Marchant and Grady were among seven Republicans seeking the nomination who faced off at a debate in Reno in January and spent much of the time criticizing Brown for refusing to participate. They have characterized him as an “establishment” candidate.

Rosen formally filed her candidacy earlier this month and has not drawn any well-known opposition for the Democratic nomination. She was a first-term congresswoman from a Las Vegas-area district when she defeated GOP Sen. Dean Heller in 2018.

Nevada State Democratic Party spokesperson Katharine Kurz said Thursday that Brown was Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s handpicked candidate in "one of the messiest and most crowded Republican Senate primaries in the country.”

Republican U.S. Senatorial candidate Sam Brown stands next to supporters...

Republican U.S. Senatorial candidate Sam Brown stands next to supporters as he gets ready to speak after filing his paperwork to run for the Senate, Thursday, March 14, 2024, at the State Capitol in Carson City, Nev. Brown is seeking to replace incumbent U.S. Sen. Jacky Rosen. Credit: AP/Andy Barron

“MAGA extremist Sam Brown is a self-serving politician who puts the interests of his party leaders in Washington, out-of-state billionaires, and special interests over what’s best for hardworking Nevadans," she said in a statement.

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