Republican U.S. Senate candidate Sue Lowden won an important endorsement Tuesday from a national group opposed to abortion.
The Susan B. Anthony List announced it is backing Lowden and the group's leader told the Review-Journal it plans to spend $1 million in Nevada to try and help defeat U.S. Sen. Harry Reid.
"This is our top priority race in the whole nation," Majorie Dannenfelser, president of the group, said in an interview, saying her organization wants to repeal the portion of the health care reform law that Reid and the Democrats passed because federal funds may be used to pay for abortions.
Dannenfelser said her group believes that Lowden, if elected, would represent the only anti-abortion female vote in the Senate.
"I think she would be the strongest voice we would truly ever have on this issue in the Senate," Dannenfelser said.
What about Sharron Angle, the former Reno Assemblywoman running in the GOP primary against Lowden and who has been endorsed twice before by the Susan B. Anthony List?
Dannenfelser said her organization respects Angle but determined that Lowden is more likely to win the Republican primary than Angle and would also be the stronger candidate against Reid.
"It's not a question of a lack of faith in Sharron but it is the belief in Sue's ability to get the job done in defeating Reid on Election Day," Dannenfelser said.
Dannenfelser called Lowden a "convert" like her, who has reversed her position from supporting abortion rights in the past.
Lowden has acknowledged that in the 1980s and as a private citizen she supported a woman's right to choose abortion, saying that at the time there was a stigma attached to unwed mothers.
When she was a state senator in the early 1990s, however, Lowden notes she helped lead an effort on parental notification legislation.
"My views on abortion have clearly changed over the decades and I have become pro-life - which I believe is consistent with the path of many other individuals," Lowden said in a statement last year after the issue of her change of heart came up early in the U.S. Senate race.
Angle answered the Lowden endorsement by announcing Tuesday that she, too, had been endorsed by an anti-abortion group.
Family-Pac Federal, a "pro-family" political action committee, said in endorsing Angle that she was the only "proven, consistent conservative in this important race."
"Sharron Angle has proven through her record of public service, community action and commitment to limited government for many years that she can help in the fight to change the culture of runaway federal spending, waste in government, and departure from our traditional American values of constitutional government, which threatens to bankrupt America."