For the campaign manager of the statistical frontrunner in the Republican U.S. Senate primary, Robert Uithoven seems off his game these days.
At least that’s the impression you get after watching him ridicule Southern Nevada small-businesswoman Irma Aguirre on a recent edition of “Nevada Newsmakers” with Sam Shad.
Aguirre was invited on the show ostensibly to discuss Hispanic politics and business, two things the former state GOP official knows plenty about. But when the question turned to whom she would support in the Republican U.S. Senate primary, she nailed Uithoven’s favorite candidate, Sue Lowden.
Aguirre, co-owner of Mundo restaurant with partner and GOP mechanic George Harris, criticized Lowden’s competence as chairwoman of the state Republican Party. That’s hardly a news flash. Lowden won mixed reviews from a lot of folks, and her efforts during the state convention were shaky at best.
Instead of letting the criticism pass or responding with an endorsement of Lowden from another Hispanic businesswoman, Uithoven demanded and received airtime. He then called Aguirre Harris’ “paramour.” Color Aguirre ticked off.
In a press release she retorted, “Mr. Uithoven set the clock back for all women and sunk Nevada politics to a new low with his male chauvinist remarks. Never mind that it has taken the woman’s movement decades to achieve their rightful voice within society, politics and business; Uithoven, irrespective of the fact that he represents a woman running for the U.S Senate, evidently has no respect for any woman that has an opinion that is different than his. My mother scrubbed many floors as a housekeeper up and down Las Vegas Boulevard to help me pay for my education as a student of Political Science so that I could have my own voice and thankfully I now do.
“Women everywhere should be outraged. Statements like Mr. Uithoven’s, are inappropriate and have no place in political discussions and regretfully only serve the purpose of potentially deterring other women from engaging in important political discourse for fear of being publicly persecuted.”
The back story here is that Harris was close and loyal friends with Lowden for more than 25 years. The chairman of Nevadans for Sound Government, Harris isn’t supporting Lowden now. Prior to the Aguirre-Uithoven dustup, Harris had sent a press release supporting Sharron Angle.
Uithoven’s response makes him look rattled. Frankly, he took a blip of negative air from a critic few people knew and enflamed it into an email response to the media. At a time he should be focusing on the final days of the primary, he looks like he’s firing blind.
His time would be better spent prepping his candidate and drawing a better read on every room she sets foot in. With incumbent Harry Reid’s videographer attending most of Lowden’s public functions, it would seem the actions of her advance team would take on increased importance.
Or, he can go out of his way to bash a minor critic and watch his overreaction reverberate.