Sharron Angle, a Republican former assemblywoman from Reno, is exploring the prospect of running for U.S. Senate against Majority Leader Harry Reid in 2010.
Angle sent a letter this week to a "couple thousand" of her past supporters, asking for money to seed the potential campaign.
"I need to know what kind of support I have for a run like this. That’s what the exploration is all about," Angle said in an interview today. "I need to know what kind of strength I can rely on, and in the way the political world works, that comes mostly in the form of contributions."
Angle said she’s been out of town since the letter went out a few days ago and doesn’t know how much response it has ginned up to her Web site and campaign P.O. Box. Her goal, the letter says, is $100,000 by May.
A four-term member of the state Assembly, Angle, 59, ran unsuccessful primary races against Republican Establishment candidates in 2006 and 2008. In 2006, she narrowly lost the nomination in the 2nd Congressional District to Rep. Dean Heller, and last year she failed to unseat state Senate Minority Leader Bill Raggio. In both cases she positioned herself as the more conservative candidate.
Nevada Republicans have been frustrated by the lack of a clear opponent for Reid, who would be considered vulnerable if he weren’t running unopposed. Angle wasn’t recruited by the state GOP or the National Republican Senatorial Committee, but she said she hopes to talk to them when and if she gets the commitments she’s hoping for.
Reid campaign manager Brandon Hall said the senator was "focused on improving Nevada’s economy" rather than the campaign. "As Senate Majority Leader, Senator Reid will continue to use his leadership position to do what’s best for Nevada," Hall said.