Nevada Republicans want Sharron Angle to sit this one out.
The 2010 Senate candidate is rumored to be strongly considering a bid for Rep. Dean Heller’s 2nd district seat now that he is officially running for Senate, and party operatives worry she could put the most Republican district in the state at risk.
“Sharron needs to sit back and regroup,” Republican National Committeewoman Heidi Smith said. “Most people are looking at Mark Amodei and Brian Krolicki.”
Along with Angle, Nevada GOP Chairman Mark Amodei and Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki would be considered frontrunners if they jump into the House race, as expected. But a few more people are interested in the seat as well.
Among the other possible GOP candidates mentioned is state Sen. Greg Brower, who said he is considering the race.
“I’ve received a number of calls from party people in the state urging me to consider running. And I plan to do just that,” Brower said Tuesday.
Heller announced his Senate candidacy in an e-mail to supporters Tuesday — a move that had been expected for some time but was accelerated by GOP Sen. John Ensign’s retirement announcement last week — and at least a half-dozen Republicans are already considering running for the House seat.
“The more people that get in, the easier it is for Angle to win that primary, and that scares a lot of Republicans,” GOP strategist Robert Uithoven said. “I think of the major candidates looking at that [2nd district] race, the one that can lose a general election is Sharron Angle.”
Republican consultant Jim Denton said he could “create a path to victory [in the primary] for almost anyone in this seat. The scenario for Angle is to have a four- or five-way Republican primary. I think she would win that.”
Angle, a former state Assemblywoman, has previously shown an interest in the 2nd district, but she and a spokesman did not return messages left by Roll Call on Tuesday.
Amodei and Krolicki considered running against Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D) last year, but Angle went on to win the GOP nomination with 40 percent of the vote against 11 opponents.
However, she suffered a 5-point loss in November to one of the most vulnerable Senators in the country, and Republicans worry about the same result even in a district that the party should have little trouble holding.
Reid ran a strong campaign, and that was reflected at last week’s Pollie awards, when the American Association of Political Consultants doled out several accolades to his team. But he was aided by Angle’s polarizing candidacy, which split the state GOP.
“Conservatives as well as centrist Republicans are looking at Amodei because he appeals to both groups,” Smith said. “Angle does not appeal to both groups.”