After being lifted from fringe figure in the Nevada State Assembly to become an all-star for Religious Right and Tea Party groups across the country, Sharron Angle is now plotting her next move after losing to Harry Reid in November. Even though voters in Nevada rejected Angle in three separate elections, including races for the State Senate, House, and US Senate, Angle is floating another bid for higher office.
According to Guy Benson, the political editor of the conservative Townhall.com, Angle may be a candidate for “statewide office” in 2012 despite her humbling loss to Reid:
Amidst the blame game, Angle is plotting her next move. A well-informed source says Angle is seriously considering another run for statewide office. “Running for office gets in your blood,” the source said. “Sharron’s developed a huge donor list, she has lots of national connections, so there are several options she’s weighing.” This confidant wouldn’t say whether Angle has her eyes on John Ensign’s seat in 2012, but said she would likely make a decision about her future by “late spring.” Others dispute that any such explicit timetable exists, referencing post-election interviews in which Angle more vaguely mentions contemplating “lots of options.”
In fact, Angle’s recent moves suggest that her political career is far from over. Angle bragged during her concession speech about her fundraising capabilities and help from donors outside of the state, and many of her Tea Party supporters and campaign workers didn’t even want her to concede to Reid at all and instead “charge voter fraud.” And just last week she announced the creation of the Patriot Caucus, which will help her preserve her fundraising capabilities and political standing. Already, the group is building ties to key players in the Nevada Tea Party, including Eric Odom of Liberty.com.
If Angle wants to run statewide, US Senate may be her only option since the races for Governor, Lt. Governor, Attorney General, State Controller and Treasurer were all decided this November. The incumbent Republican John Ensign has been dogged by ethics scandals and many Republicans expect him to be challenged in a primary. Angle has experience running against leading Republican figures, running unsuccessfully against State Senate Republican Leader Bill Raggio in 2006 and defeating the former Nevada Republican Party Chairwoman Sue Lowden in the 2010 primary.
Following his vote in favor of repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, Ensign made himself a top target of groups such as the Family Research Council which vowed to back and finance a primary challenger to anyone who voted to repeal DADT. Now, they may look to Angle to rally Religious Right activists and her Tea Party brethren to make another run for the Senate.