In Nevada, 23 candidates are all hoping to be the John Thune of 2010 – that is, they want to topple the Senate Majority Leader, Democrat Harry Reid. The four Republicans gaining the most notice are former state senator Sue Lowden, businessman and former UNLV basketball star Danny Tarkanian, investment banker John Chachas, and Sharron Angle, a former Reno assemblywoman. State polls show a friendly environment for the GOP, so the competition in the run-up to the June 8 primary is increasingly intense.
According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Lowden is using early television ads to try and break out from the pack:
Former state Sen. Sue Lowden is the current Republican front-runner thanks, in part, to launching on Feb. 2 the earliest radio and TV ads of the GOP field. That allowed her to leave the dozen-strong competition in the dust — for now. The strategy also opened her up to strong verbal and e-mail attacks, mostly from the No. 2 Republican, Danny Tarkanian, but also from Reid’s campaign.
Lowden’s strategy to break out fast with four TV and radio ads gave her the imprint of the anointed GOP candidate at a cost of some $250,000. The other top primary competitors waited until March to follow, husbanding resources for the primary endgame expected to see media spending skyrocket.
Chachas, a political novice, is following her lead:
Chachas today launched two TV spots, one biographical and one focused on his business experience, both meant to introduce him to Nevadans who might be thinking “John who?”
His first TV ad buy is large, between $150,000 and $200,000 to run two commercials in rotation through mid-April. They are running on the major networks but also are targeted heavily toward cable TV in rural Nevada such as CNN and the conservative Fox News.
Tarkanian, for his part, is hoping for a little tea-party steam:
Tarkanian, whose name is well-known because of his sports career and famous father, former UNLV coach Jerry Tarkanian, is trying hardest to tap into the Tea Party movement of voters who align themselves with conservative Republicans.
In one of Tarkanian’s radio ads, he is endorsed by the father of Sarah Palin, the former GOP vice presidential candidate in 2008, who rallied anti-Reid voters in the senator’s hometown of Searchlight over the weekend in an event that attracted 10,000 people.
In other news, Lowden got a bump today with the endorsement of the Susan B. Anthony List, a pro-life political-action committee.