(Sean Whaley/Nevada News Bureau) – Nevada GOP U.S. Senate candidate and front-runner Sue Lowden said she expects a negative campaign from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid if she wins the crowded Republican primary in June.
Recent polls have put Lowden at the front of the primary pack, which also includes Las Vegas businessman Danny Tarkanian, former Assemblywoman Sharron Angle, investment banker John Chachas and others.
Lowden said in an interview on Nevada NewsMakers today that Reid, who is shown losing to Lowden and other GOP primary contenders in recent polls, established the tone of the campaign when one of his advisers said last year that Reid would “vaporize” her or any other GOP opponent in a general election contest.
Lowden said Reid’s anticipated $25 million war chest for his re-election campaign gives him the opportunity to pursue all types of tactics, such as having individuals follow her to every event she attends in order to videotape everything she says.
“I’ve been followed everywhere, for instance, with a videocam at all of my town hall meetings,” she said. “They’ve hired a professional to go from town hall meetings to wherever I’m at with a videocam.”
“I’m not intimidated by it, but I think the public needs to know to what extent the Reid campaign is following me and is going to be negative,” Lowden said.
Lowden said she does not know whether her campaign will pursue similar tactics.
But Reid’s voting record is there for public scrutiny and is fair game in an election, she said.
Lowden said it was this use of a video camera that lead to the recent Reid attacks on her comment that people should barter with their doctors on the price of a visit or treatment.
That few seconds clip of her comment, which also led to a joke about the proposal from Jay Leno, came from a town hall meeting in Mesquite, she said.
Lowden did not back off the comment, saying people who have a personal financial stake in the cost of their health care are raising such questions about negotiating with their health care providers. This is already happening in Nevada and other states, she said.
But it is also just one element of her health care proposal that can be found on her website, she said.
Lowden said her strong showing in the primary is a surprise since she has never been on a statewide ballot in Nevada. Lowden is a former state senator and former chairwoman of the Nevada State Republican Party.
Lowden said her background as a state lawmaker and years of experience as a businesswoman make her uniquely qualified to go “toe to toe” with Reid.