Thursday, June 09, 2011

Yet another update on the Nevada 2nd special election -- Sharron Angle is out

Somehow I missed a development in the special election coming this fall to fill the Nevada 2nd Congressional seat vacated by Dean Heller when he replaced John Ensign in the U.S. Senate after Ensign resigned amid an ethics inquiry.

The big news is that, Sharron Angle, Tea Party star, and failed Nevada Senate candidate, has decided not to seek the seat after seriously gearing up to take a shot at it.

It's all very interesting, with elements of local intrigue, but it boiled down to the fact that a judge ruled that the political parties must pick their candidate, one candidate per party, for the ballot to take place on Sept. 13th.

This overturned Secretary of State Ross Miller's earlier decision that anyone could run in what would have amounted to a free-for-all.

As it seemed unlikely that Angle would get the Republican Party nod, she apparently decided she didn't like the odds of running in a field that would include a GOP sanctioned nominee. Instead, she was clearly hoping for a very crowded field in which she might benefit from a strong Tea Party base and good vote splits.

Democrats were also hoping for the free-for-all scenario on the same theory that many candidates could potentially split the conservative vote in a way beneficial to them.

But it's not over yet as the Nevada Supreme Court will hear arguments on June 28th. There is even some talk that the Sept. 13th election might be delayed to give the court more time to render a decision.

Currently, 28 candidates have filed to run, including 14 Republicans and 9 Democrats.

Still hard to know what will happen here, both in the courts and at the ballot box. I should note that McCain took the district by a slim 88 votes against Obama out of 335,720 cast in 2008, though the Republican (Heller) took the Congressional race by more than 10% in the same year.

It's interesting that Angle dropped out before the case wound its way through the courts.

Here is what she had to say, as reported in the National Journal:

Current outcomes concerning the special election have made this election in Nevada an illegitimate process that disenfranchises the electorate. Clearly, no solution that the Supreme Court can make will correct the injury to free and open elections caused by ambiguous laws and subsequent lawsuits. 

While criticizing back room deals by a "select group of people" she also indicated that she didn't want to run in a free-for-all scenario either, which are the only options currently under consideration by the Nevada Supreme Court.

Now it seems that the only process she would accept is a primary system, which is disallowed by Nevada state law.

Who know? It sounds like she didn't like the way things were shaping up and decided to take a hike by pissing in all directions.

Angle has thus far given no clear indication of future plans. Too bad, if only for the entertainment value. She certainly puts on a good show - crazy, but good.

What I find most interesting in all of this, though, is the length to which the GOP establishment may be willing to go to ensure they don't repeat the mistakes of 2010 with crazy Tea Party-backed candidates.

(Cross-posted to Lippmann's Ghost.)

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