Federal election officials question Sharron Angle’s campaign filing

WASHINGTON — Federal election officials are asking Republican Sharron Angle to straighten out forms she filed to declare her candidacy for a House seat in northern Nevada.

The Federal Elections Commission is giving the candidate until May 15 to provide an “adequate response” in her statement of organization, which failed to disclose even her party affiliation and whether she is running for the House or the Senate.

Angle, a former state assemblywoman, has unsuccessfully run for both in the past.

Information on her website says she is a candidate for the House, but includes promises if elected as a senator.

It says she has announced as a candidate for the House to help further the president’s agenda.

President Donald Trump can lead, but in Congress, the website states, “we contend with the unpredictable Republicans who support, or do not support, what the American people mandated on Election Day.”

Angle announced March 20 that she would run as a candidate in Nevada’s Congressional District 2, currently held by Rep. Mark Amodei, R-Nev., who publicly denounced the House health care replacement bill that was pulled from consideration.

Angle’s candidacy would set up a possible primary challenge if Amodei seeks re-election.

Although her website states she is a House candidate, it also makes references to the Senate. The site states that Angle “as your senator” would work on the issues of tax reform, women’s privacy and strengthening Social Security.

The Federal Elections Commission is also seeking clarification.

The FEC sent the Angle campaign a letter April 10 that said the statement of organization required by law fails to “disclose the name of the candidate, the office sought (including State and Congressional district when applicable), and party affiliation of the candidate.”

The letter was sent by Denise Stilla, an FEC campaign finance analyst.

“Those corrections will be made with the quarterly report,” said Todd Bailey, a campaign spokesman for Angle in Reno.

The FEC letter was addressed to Robert Tese, a Reno certified public accountant who serves as the campaign treasurer.

Tese admits he “didn’t spend a lot of time” with the document, but vowed to make the corrections next week. “Whatever the errors are, I’m going to fix.”

He said Angle is seeking election to the House.

One GOP political strategist said the missteps are not unusual for an Angle campaign.

“She’s never demonstrated she’s a competent candidate for office,” said GOP political strategist Matt Mackowiak, president of the Potomac Strategy Group.

Mackowiak said Angle’s blunders led to her defeat in the 2010 race against Democratic Sen. Harry Reid.

Angle has run for federal office several times. She’s been endorsed by Tea Party groups and has raised millions of dollars for those campaigns.

The 2nd congressional district includes Carson City, Reno and Elko. It is considered a solid Republican seat by the non-partisan Cook Political Report.

Amodei was re-elected in 2016 with 58 percent of the vote.

Asked for comment about Angle’s campaign, an Amodei spokeswoman said the congressman is in Nevada for the congressional recess, focused on an upcoming town hall in Reno and meetings with constituents, local businesses and federal agencies.

“He’s not going to pivot in the middle of the April District Work Period to comment on anything to do with Sharron Angle,” the spokeswoman said.

No Democrat has announced plans to run for the seat.

Contact Gary Martin at gmartin@reviewjournal.com or 202-662-7390. Follow @garymartindc on Twitter.

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