Nevada businesswoman, philanthropist and former state senator Sue Lowden officially entered the campaign for the United States Senate in Nevada today, joining a crowded field of GOP challengers to Democrat Sen. Harry Reid – including Danny Tarkanian, Sharron Angle and Mark Amodei. Lowden announced her candidacy one day after her resignation as Chairman of the Nevada Republican Party became official.
“Higher deficits and higher taxes will not bring jobs back to Nevada,” Lowden said in a press release. “As a U.S. Senator, I will fight to create jobs. I will do so by working to keep our taxes low, our health care decisions in the hands of patients, and our federal government accountable to those who fund it.”
Washington Post blogger Chris Cillizza of “The Fix” wrote today that Lowden immediately became “the highest-profile candidate in an increasingly crowded field hoping to unseat” Reid, adding that “her entry into the race gives Republicans a credible alternative to the Majority Leader.”
Nevada Democrats wasted no time taking aim and firing at Lowden.
In a pre-emptive press release put out on Wednesday afternoon, Phoebe Sweet, the party’s Communications Director, issued a “report card” giving Lowden an “F” on Party Building, Ethics, Organization and the 2008 Election while head of the Nevada GOP.
“In 2007, Gov. Jim Gibbons handpicked Sue Lowden to chair the Nevada Republican Party, touting her leadership as the key to turning the party around,” said Sweet. “Now that she’s resigning more than two years later, what do the Republicans have to show for it? The Nevada GOP is broke, disorganized and demoralized from electoral defeats and from watching their governor, lieutenant governor and junior U.S. senator mired in scandal.”
Jen Harrington, a consultant on the Lowden campaign, responded. “The fact that they attacked Sue before she was even a candidate clearly shows they’re running scared,” Harrington said.
The bio on Lowden’s campaign webpage (www.SueLowden.com) notes that prior to moving to Nevada she was an elementary school teacher in New Jersey, the second runner-up in the 1973 Miss America pageant, and traveled with Bob Hope to Vietnam as a member of the USO.
After moving to Las Vegas in the early 1980s, Lowden worked as reporter and anchorwoman for KLAS-TV in Las Vegas. She entered politics in 1992 when she ran for the Nevada State Senate and defeated Jack Vergiels, who at the time was the Nevada Senate Majority Leader.
While in the Legislature, Lowden served as the Senate Majority Whip and Chairman of the Senate Taxation Committee, where she earned a reputation as a solid fiscal conservative. Her work in office earned her the Guardian of Small Business Award from the Nevada chapter of the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB).
Lowden has been married to her husband Paul for 26 years, has four children and one granddaughter.