Tea party favorite Sharron Angle has vowed to run for the House seat vacated by newly appointed Sen. Dean Heller — even if she has to do it as an independent.
Doubts about never-before-tested election rules in Nevada mean it is unclear how the poll will be conducted. It could be a free-for-all with candidates from all parties competing in one vote, one in which the parties pick their candidates, or one with regular primaries.
Secretary of State Ross Miller, a Democrat, has yet to announce how he will interpret new rules for special elections, The Washington Post reports.
Angle is unlikely to be selected by Republican leaders, many of whom were upset by the positions she took during her hard-fought battle against Senate Majority leader Harry Reid last year.
So if Miller decides the party grandees should pick their candidates, Angle is expected to run as an independent — which means that if she wins she could end up as the first official tea partyer to take a seat in Washington.
Angle called for a system with primaries. “A special election free-for-all, or a situation where party insiders nominate a candidate, does disservice to our representative democracy," she said.
Her aide, John Yob added: “I would urge all players involved in setting up the election to be fair, transparent, and not to manipulate the process for their favored candidates. There is a long recent history across the country of voter backlash resulting from bias by establishment leaders.
“Regardless of the system, Sharron Angle will have a clear path to success,” Yob predicted.
The election, which must be held within 180 days, comes after Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval appointed Heller to fill the Senate seat vacated when fellow-Republican Sen. John Ensign resigned rather than face an ethics inquiry into his affair with a married staffer.
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