Primary princesses target party’s ugly stepbrothers

It’s primary season, so naturally candidates are going to be more concerned about defeating rivals in their own party than they are in the cross-aisle opposition they’ll face in the general election.

But there are certain candidates who seem to enjoy those primary battles for the red-meat tossing, integrity-questioning, ideologically purging crowd pleasers that they are. The general? Yeah, whatever.

Take former Assemblywoman Sharron Angle, the infamous loser of the 2010 U.S. Senate race against Harry Reid. Angle fought hard to win the GOP primary, defeating the more viable general election choice, hotelier Sue Lowden.

Angle’s campaign was a thing of beauty — assuming you’re an aficionado of Irwin Allen films. By the time Angle told a class full of Latino students that some “look a little bit Asian to me,” well, it was over.

Angle has spent the intervening six years wandering the countryside, hinting (but never offering proof) that Reid stole the election from her. She’s written (and self-published!) a book about her campaign, and apparently she’s just finished another.

Speaking on the Alan Stock program on KXNT-AM 840 on Wednesday, Angle hinted strongly that she might make another bid for U.S. Senate this year, and oh, by the way, did she mention she’s got a new book out? Because she does.

Stock is nobody’s liberal — he’s a smart conservative. And he literally begged Angle to forgo another race, lest her efforts distract the campaign of Rep. Joe Heck, the Republican front-runner. While Stock called Heck a conservative, Angle begged to differ. Check the ratings, she said. (I did; three major right-wing political action groups scored him between 53 percent and 65 percent.)

That’s good news for Primary Angle, but bad news for General Election Catherine Cortez Masto, the former attorney general whose campaign surely intends to portray Heck as a knuckle-dragging, Tea Party stalwart who only differs from Donald Trump in that Heck has a much better haircut. Then again, an Angle candidacy under any circumstances is good for Cortez Masto; an impossible-to-conceive Angle victory would be a gift from God.

“I think that what you have to do is let the people decide,” Angle said. Oh, did she mention there’s a special now where you can buy both her books in a bundle? Because there is.

Fast forward to Thursday, when Assemblywoman Michele Fiore, R-Las Vegas, filed to run for the Third Congressional District. That’s the district where, not coincidentally, state Senate Majority Leader Michael Roberson, R-Henderson, is the Republican front-runner.

“I fight for our people, period,” Fiore said. “We need fighters in [Washington] D.C. that stand up for the people, who aren’t afraid to ruffle their own [party members’] feathers.”

Got that? Not fighters who will stick it to those tax-and-spend Democrats who want to give everybody health care or put people to work fixing infrastructure. No, Fiore is thirsty for the blood of her fellow Republican. (Oh, by the way, she also cast doubt on Heck’s right-wing bona fides, saying “our policies will differ.”)

I’d be willing to bet that Angle and Fiore despise their fellow Republicans — whom they think have betrayed what their party should stand for — far more than they hate opposition Democrats. Of course, Bernie Sanders is a democratic socialist; he’s never denied it. But Roberson voted to raise taxes! Heck didn’t get a high enough right-wing rating! This will not stand! WE MUST TAKE OUR PARTY BACK!

By the way, those are the Democrats you see desperately trying to suppress smiles.

Steve Sebelius is a Review-Journal political columnist and co-host of the show “PoliticsNOW,” airing at 5:30 p.m. Sundays on 8NewsNow. Follow him on Twitter (@SteveSebelius) or reach him at 702-387-5276 or SSebelius@reviewjournal.com.

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