Angle: Ultimate goal is to oust Reid |

Angle: Ultimate goal is to oust Reid

RENO – Sharron Angle says the most important goal in the U.S. Senate race is to oust Harry Reid from office, and the “wave of conservatism” in Nevada and the nation will make that possible.

“At the end of the day, it’s anybody but Reid,” the Republican candidate said.

But Angle agreed with Reid that the senator could win if the other candidates split the vote in the general election.

Reid said in a recent interview that, “If the election were held today, I’d win.”

In addition to the Democratic incumbent, seven candidates will appear on the November ballot: the Republican primary winner, an Independent American, a Tea Party candidate and four independents, all of them running as the conservative alternative to Reid.

“He could be right,” said Angle, interviewed Thursday in her Reno home. “We know as well as Harry that we need the independent, non-partisan vote. If the independent vote goes somewhere else, it’s going to be very difficult to take him out.”

She said voters have to understand they need to unite behind a single opponent to defeat Reid.

“Generally what my campaign has to focus on is, why me? People want somebody to vote for,” Angle said. “You don’t want to hold your nose and vote for the lesser of two evils.”

She said she offers “a proven conservative record” and that now is her time.

“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.

First, she has to get past a field of 11 other Republicans seeking to challenge Reid.

But in recent weeks, despite having much less cash and name recognition than her main opponents Sue Lowden and Danny Tarkanian, she’s making headway. The most recent Mason/Dixon poll released Thursday by the Las Vegas Review Journal shows Angle with 25 percent of the GOP primary electorate, compared with 30 percent for Lowden and 22 percent for Tarkanian.

Just a month ago, Mason/Dixon had her at just 5 percent compared to 45 percent for Lowden and 27 percent Tarkanian. The Review-Journal also reported her name recognition has nearly doubled to 85 percent in a month.

Comparing her campaign to Lowden’s, she said, “It’s quite a contrast: Her in her bus and me in my pickup.”

Angle said she now has more than 25 endorsements nationally and in Nevada, including Gun Owners of America, Joe the Plumber and Pat Boone. And she said the money is starting to come in – although small contributors make up 75 percent of what she receives.

She showed off a letter that arrived Thursday with $10 in it: “Sharron, I know that $10 isn’t much but please use it to defeat Harry Reid,” said the handwritten note from Tom Hanley in Connecticut.

She said in Washington, D.C., she wouldn’t just be the freshman senator from Nevada: “I’m going to be the junior senator who took out Harry Reid.”

She said that would encourage supporters from other states to “bring pressure to bear on their senators to support Sharron Angle.”

In Washington, she said her short list includes “the repeal of Obamacare,” repeal of regulations barring off-shore drilling, repeal of the policy barring reprocessing of nuclear waste in the U.S. and reduction of cumbersome regulations throughout government.

Angle said she isn’t against all regulation, citing banks that helped cause the recession as an example. She said regulation needs to be logical and encourage business development, not get in its way.

She called for a constitutional amendment to impose term limits in Congress, adding that term limits “is a double edged sword” since it also removes good lawmakers. She called for a balanced budget amendment at the federal level and for the U.S. government to enforce immigration laws.

“We have the tools right now,” she said. “There are pretty hefty fines for people who hire folks that aren’t legal. We have the laws right now. Arizona is saying we’re going to do what the federal government should have done.”

Angle said voters trust her because “I have that consistent conservative record. I don’t vote on both sides of the issue. Harry Reid, ever since 1986 when he got there, he has been flip-flopping.”

Angle said this campaign is her chance to make a difference and she’s determined to make it happen.

“You know how close my losses were,” she said.

Dean Heller defeated her in his first run for Congress by a half-percent and she lost the Nevada Senate primary to Bill Raggio by just 500 votes, she said.

“We don’t take anything for granted.”