Lowden Countdown in Nevada
(Jeri Thompson) – Given what has transpired over the past week, I think it’s important that we begin setting our sights not only on House members who betrayed our trust, but also the leadership that encouraged and enabled it. That’s why I’m jumping in early on the Nevada race to do my part.
Perhaps not surprisingly given the kind of leadership America is seeing in Washington, Republicans — and more important — conservatives are blessed with an embarrassment of riches when it comes to candidates. Across the country, conservatives committed to our nation’s founding principles are stepping up and challenging Democrats in local and state elections.
Nevada is no different. In the Senate race to defeat Senate Democrat Leader Harry Reid, we have several candidates who want the opportunity to challenge and defeat him. Each candidate has different skills and a particular constituency. But to defeat a sitting Senate Majority Leader will take someone with the “total package” — an experienced leader, who has run the political and public gauntlet, who can raise money on a national level and who can clearly communicate their principles. For Nevada, that person is Sue Lowden.
In the health care legislation fight, we’ve just seen what a liberal majority in Congress, backed by a radicalized White House, is capable of. There is no better way to send a Chicago-style message to Barack Obama and his team, than to take out one his ringleaders next November — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a man who quaintly promises to “vaporize” his Republican challenger.
Conservatives have just emerged from a bruising fight, but there are more fights to come: over a federal budget that the CBO says will increase publicly held debt to $20.3 trillion, or 90 percent of GDP in 2020; over immigration, over tax increase proposals, over federal and Supreme Court nominations. And the point man for all of this for Obama in the Senate will be Harry Reid.
This is a man who says our economy is experiencing “robust growth” and thinks it’s good news when “only” 36,000 Americans lose their jobs. This is a man who has not met a tax or spending cut he liked. This is a man who shows his concern for women by claiming that their unemployed husbands may become spouse-abusers. This is a man who at one time claimed to be pro-life, but who has rubber-stamped every liberal judicial nominee to pass his desk, and who cared so much about reassuring liberals that Sonia Sotomayor, their “5th vote”, would keep Roe v. Wade the law of the land, that he said, “I understand that during her career she has written hundreds and hundreds of opinions. I haven’t read a single one of them. And if I’m fortunate…I won’t have to read one of them.”
For years, Republicans have been looking for someone strong enough to stand up to Reid and his bullying political ways and to send him home permanently. This year, we have a candidate to do just that in Lowden.
While there are other Republican candidates in this race, I am convinced Sue is the only conservative Republican with the toughness and experience to go toe-to-toe with former boxer Harry Reid. Harry seems to be acknowledging that, because Sue is the only Republican who Reid is regularly attacking. Beyond promising to “vaporize” her, the Las Vegas Review Journal reported, he has set his organized labor thugs against her back in Nevada. Recently, when Sue held a fundraising event in Washington, Harry actually had his staff in front of the restaurant where the event was being held taking pictures of anyone who entered the event. Think maybe he’s a worried just a bit about Sue?
Polling indicates Sue can win this race. If the election were held today she’d knock out Reid by 13 points; 52% of Nevadans would vote him out of the Senate. And within Sue’s Republican primary race she holds an 18-point margin, 47 to 29 percent. In the first quarter of the year, she’s raised almost a million dollars, far more than any other candidate. Her fundraising prowess nationally will be important, because Reid has promised to raise $25 million to keep his job.
Sue is the conservative in the race who can win, and she has the experience and record that shows she won’t fold on us when she comes to Washington. As a Nevada state senator, she fought off special interests when she chaired the senate taxation committee, and blocked higher taxes. She promised her constituents their taxes would not be increased, and she kept her promise. As Republican State Party chair, Sue knows what it takes to run a winning campaign in a state where Republicans have won statewide before, and will again.
Perhaps most important, on issues that go directly to our conservative values of personal freedom, free markets, the rule of law and respect for life, she’s rock solid. She signed tax and government reform pledges with Americans for Tax Reform, Americans for Prosperity, Club for Growth, and Citizens Against Government Waste. Sue has received an A+ from the NRA and is a strong supporter of our 2nd Amendment rights, has a strong record on cutting taxes and opposing tax increases, supports the appointment of judges who understand their role in the courts. On the issue of life, the past week has made it clear to us what it means to be a “pro-life” Democrat. Sue has made it clear she knows where she stands and how she will legislate. She will be pro-life. Today, that means a bit more than it did a week ago
Sue has the private sector experience of balancing a budget, paying payrolls and bills, to understand what it takes to grow a business and create new jobs. Harry Reid? Like so many of Obama’s cronies, he’s never held a private sector job. Isn’t it time we helped him check that box?
(Mrs. Thompson is a longtime conservative GOP activist who is married to former Sen. Fred Thompson. This column originally appeared in the American Spectator)