Geoff Dornan

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June 9, 2010
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ELECTION 2010: Angle pulls out a surprise victory

Sharron Angle, for the past two election cycles the bridesmaid in her GOP primary contests, finally fought her way through to the November general election Tuesday with a come-from-behind, establishment-busting victory over Sue Lowden.

Lowden conceded defeat in the contest before 10 p.m. as Angle celebrated her growing victory margin in Reno.

Angle's victory followed her defeat by fewer than 500 votes by Dean Heller in the 2006 primary run for the House of Representatives and an even narrower defeat by Sen. Bill Raggio of Reno for his Nevada Senate seat.

In an interview in May, Angle said she was confident this would be her year because of the discontent with Congress and Washington, D.C., incumbents in general.

"There's a real momentum," she said. "It's fun when your message finally catches. There's been a tsunami, a wave of conservatism coming across the country."

Her message, as it has been through four terms in the Nevada Assembly, is lower taxes, less government regulation, smaller government.

Beyond that, Lowden's defeat was attributed largely to her own missteps in the campaign which drew ridicule from national political observers. In addition to admitting to taking a campaign bus worth more than $100,000 as a gift - a clear violation of federal campaign laws - there was the "chickens for checkups" gaffe where she suggested people without cash could barter for health care services.

Finally, there were allegations she illegally spent contributions earmarked for her general election campaign on her primary race - another federal rules violation.

Opponents including most of the GOP leadership had argued Lowden was the only GOP candidate in a field of 13 who could actually beat Harry Reid in November.

And Angle will be on the ballot facing Reid with six other contenders who all claim to be the true conservative.

Reid argued that gives him a big edge because those candidates will split the opposition to his re-election.

Angle said Reid could be right and argued that is the strongest reason those candidates should back her instead of fighting among themselves.

Angle could not be reached directly but she told the Las Vegas Review Journal that, "We need to say to Harry, you have failed and you are fired."

Her campaign spokesman Jerry Stacy said the campaign would resume Wednesday, going after Reid with everything it has.

Reid's campaign issued a statement which didn't mention Angle by name but said the election "presents voters with a clear choice on who will stand up for Nevada's families."

Reid earlier in the evening advanced easily over an unknown and unfunded Alex Miller.

In addition to Reid and Angle, there are four independents on the November ballot for U.S. Senate as well as an Independent American and a Tea Party candidate.

Reid brings to the battle the largest war chest in Nevada political history. He has raised more than $12 million thus far, more than 10 times what Angle has raised.

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The Nevada Appeal Updated Jun 9, 2010 04:33AM Published Jun 9, 2010 04:02AM Copyright 2010 The Nevada Appeal. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.