Nevada Senator John Ensign’s decision not to finish out his term has thrown both the 2012 senate race and the 2nd District congressional race on its head. The likelihood of a special election to replace Rep. Dean Heller, who is expected to be tapped to finish Ensign’s term, means that rather than a primary, the parties would pick candidates to run, a choice that is likely to leave ultra rightwing Sharron Angle out in the cold.
Or will it? According to the Daily Caller, if passed over by the GOP, Angle just might choose to run anyway — as a Tea Party candidate.
According to the Journal-Review, a recent poll shows a neck-and-neck race if Angle ran as an independent. Republican and Democratic candidates are reportedly in a dead heat with Angle, all placing within the unnamed poll’s margin of error.
The potential independent candidacy of Angle could place the longtime Republican stronghold within striking distance of a Democratic candidate.
Angle’s decision to consider a Tea Party run is a stark contrast to 2010, when she tried to convince Tea Party Senate candidate Scott Ashjian to back out of his third party bid, claiming they would split the vote and get Democratic Senator Harry Reid reelected. Ashjian secretly recorded the conversation and released it publicly prior to election day.
Angle ended up losing to Reid by about 6 percent of the vote.
UPDATED: Angle has now declared that she has no intention of running as a thrid party candidate, stating she is “committed to running as a Republican.”
The former Reno assemblywoman and 2010 candidate for Senate released a statement Tuesday saying such media speculation was “without basis in fact” and pledged loyalty to her party.
“I am committed to the House race for the 2nd Congressional District as a Republican candidate,” she said. “Regardless of a possible special election’s impact in the short term, I have hired an experienced consulting firm, Revolvis, that has a proven track record of winning complex campaigns. I am confident in my team’s ability to muster all necessary resources for success.”
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