(Dick Wadhams) – Five years ago, we made history when John Thune defeated Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle in South Dakota.
As the Thune campaign manager, I will personally never forget the support we received that gave us the ability to make the case against Tom Daschle. As a result, a sitting Democratic leader was defeated for reelection for the first time in 52 years.
Amazingly, we have yet another opportunity to unseat the Senate Democratic leader, this time Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada. However, there are major differences between the 2004 race in South Dakota as opposed to the 2010 race for the U.S. Senate in Nevada.
Tom Daschle was a mere obstructionist of the Republican agenda. Harry Reid is the chief architect of the worst parts of the Obama-Democratic agenda: The job-killing “cap and trade” legislation; the debt-deepening “stimulus” bill; the budget busting bailout and appropriations bills.
And finally, Harry Reid is driving the most dangerous threat to our nation, the $2.5 trillion “health care reform” bill that will destroy private health care insurance and increase taxes on families and small businesses.
Tom Daschle was a rank amateur compared to Harry Reid.
But just like 2004 when a candidate with sheer guts and determination stepped forward to challenge Tom Daschle, an outstanding Republican leader of accomplishment has emerged to challenge Harry Reid in Nevada: Sue Lowden.
Sue Lowden is no stranger to taking on seemingly impossible odds in a political campaign and winning. Sue Lowden defeated the Majority Leader of the Nevada State Senate in 1992 in a Democratic district which shifted the chamber to Republican control.
Sue Lowden was immediately elected Senate Majority Whip by her colleagues and also chaired the Senate Taxation Committee where she strongly opposed higher taxes and fees. In fact, when pro-tax increase senators tried to ram through higher taxes in her committee, Sue Lowden shut it down earning the committee the name of “Senate No-Taxation Committee.”
Before being elected to the state senate, Sue Lowden was an award winning television news anchorwoman. Sue and her husband, Paul, are successful business leaders in Nevada.
As Colorado Republican State Chairman, I got to know Sue Lowden well during her service as Nevada Republican State Chairwoman.
Just like John Thune, Sue Lowden has what it will take to defeat the Senate Democratic leader. Sue Lowden is a principled conservative who can effectively articulate the clear differences with Harry Reid.
As someone who saw up close what it takes to defeat a sitting Democratic leader, I know that Sue Lowden has what it takes to win in 2010. If Sue Lowden has the financial resources, she will defeat Harry Reid.
There is one more difference between the South Dakota and Nevada Senate races: Recent polls show that Harry Reid is much more vulnerable at this time than Tom Daschle was at a similar point in the 2004 campaign. And those polls show Sue Lowden is already leading Harry Reid. But make no mistake about it, Harry Reid and his handlers are nasty street fighters and this race will go to the wire.
(Dick Wadhams is presently the Chairman of the Colorado Republican Party)