See today’s Politico story about Sharron Angle and the Nevada Republicans who love her (or not). This latter category appears to include state senate majority leader and lifelong Republican Bill Raggio, who has in the past tangled with Angle:
In recent years, Angle has mounted two bruising, unsuccessful campaigns: a nail-biter in a 2006 primary for an open congressional seat, and a nasty 2008 primary campaign against state Senate GOP leader, Bill Raggio.
The hard feelings from those intraparty battles carry over today. Asked about his level of involvement in this year’s U.S. Senate race, Raggio — a powerful figure who has represented Reno’s Washoe County since 1972 — said, tellingly, he’s solely focused on electing Republican Brian Sandoval as the next governor.
“She was my opponent two years ago — at this point, I don’t have any comment,” Raggio said in an interview when asked whether he’d endorse Angle.
Danny Tarkanian, who ran against Angle and who has been active in Republican politics since coming in third in the GOP primary, offered his two cents on strategy and how it’s going so far:
“If this race is about Harry Reid, you win; if you talk about Social Security, what’s the race about? It’s about her,” said Danny Tarkanian, the Las Vegas businessman who lost the primary to Angle. “I think Angle is giving him more opportunities then she would have liked, and he’s been able to get back into the race.”
He is committed to supporting her now that she has asked him to do so, and believes the Reid camp has misrepresented some of Angle’s views.
The statements come at the end of a week in which Nevada television viewers have been bombarded with campaign advertising from Team Angle:
POLITICO has learned that Angle’s team has spent $584,000 in ads this week alone in the Reno and Las Vegas media markets — by far the biggest single-week ad buy of any campaign in Nevada this election.
Next week, she plans to pump in an additional $160,000 in her ads defending herself on Social Security and hammering Reid on the slumping economy.
Reid was no doubt delighted with the Politico piece. With negatives over 50 percent, his best bet is to get Republicans and the many others unimpressed with his service to vote for anyone-but-Angle or none-of-the-above.
Angle, on the other hand, needs both the GOP base and every anti-Reid vote in order to pull off a win. Congressman Dean Heller, who has also in the past faced-off with Angle, seems to think there is time for her to do just that:
“I’m one to believe there is plenty of time for the campaign to reinvent itself or reshape itself three of four times,” said GOP Rep. Dean Heller, who defeated Angle in the 2006 GOP congressional primary.
“Get us into September and October, when people start focusing, I think that’s when the campaign really gets started.”