Wednesday, May 25, 2011 | 1:42 p.m.
Nevada’s most reliably unpredictable candidate, Sharron Angle, has just taken the surprise move of removing herself from a campaign.
Angle was first in, and now the first out, to fill the 2nd Congressional District seat left vacant by Dean Heller when he filled the Senate seat John Ensign resigned this month.
She’s doing so, it appears, because of last week’s court decision to let party central committees play a selective role, in lieu of a formal primary process, undercutting what was supposed to be a free-for-all election. The shift would seriously weaken Angle’s chances, as she would be running against the Republican Party’s anointed candidate; an endorsement that would make it harder for other Republicans to split the field.
“Current outcomes concerning the special election have made this election in Nevada an illegitimate process that disenfranchises the electorate,” Angle said this afternoon.
“I do not have any desire to participate in a process ... where the party central committees choose their nominees because it makes a mockery of the most important constitutional element in exercising freedom.”
But that decision may yet be appealed. So what is Angle doing?
Although Angle made it pretty clear that she has no intention of participating in a special election, ballot royale or otherwise, she doesn’t appear to be bowing out of election politics altogether.
“Although I do not intend to participate as a candidate in the special election, I am not ruling out a future run for office,” Angle said in her statement. “Meanwhile, I will remain busy working as an advocate for the voters of Nevada and this great nation. I thank all my supporters for their dedication and encouragement. I will be making additional announcements soon detailing my plans.”
CD2 seemed the most likely goal for Angle, but the special election is not the end of the line. She could easily wait out this special election and throw her hat in the ring come next November, or wait for the redistricting process to conclude, at which time she might be able to run for Nevada’s fourth congressional seat.
Or she could jump in the race for the Senate, creating a primary against Heller.
It wouldn’t be an easy fight. Heller’s the sitting junior senator from Nevada, and as such, the national Republicans’ presumptive nominee.
And when Angle and Heller have faced off before, he beat her — that’s why he’s in Congress and she isn’t.
But Angle’s just come off staging an impressive electoral challenge to Nevada’s most experienced statesman, and although experts have attributed much of her showing to hatred of Sen. Harry Reid, she may think she has enough momentum to pick and choose which electoral challenges she takes up in the future.
We’ll see how soon that announcement about her future plans comes.