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Angle wins Nevada GOP Senate primary

By Shannon Travis, CNN Political Producer
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Nevada primary winner: 'Dump Harry Reid'
  • GOP's Sharron Angle will face Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid
  • Angle is the Tea Party candidate
  • Former candidate Danny Tarkanian says he'll support Angle

Las Vegas, Nevada (CNN) -- A conservative Republican candidate, whose critics said was too outside the mainstream to win, won Nevada's Republican Senate primary.

Sharron Angle beat Republican establishment favorite Sue Lowden and businessman Danny Tarkanian in a race that had grown increasingly bitter in the final days.

Angle will challenge Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, the Democratic nominee, in November.

"We have completed the first step to taking back our U.S. Senate seat," Angle told an enthusiastic gathering of supporters.

"This is an important moment because we have an opportunity to send a very positive message and that message is that we are going to dump Harry Reid on November second," Angle said, which promoted chants of "Dump Harry Reid."

The Senate majority leader faces a tough re-election for a fifth term amid double-digit unemployment in Nevada and soaring home foreclosures. Many also criticize Reid's brokering deals on key national issues, such health care reform and financial bailouts.

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"We need to send a message to Washington D.C., we need to send a message to politicians... and say, 'We're taking our country back,'" Angle said.

Blasting the economic stimulus package, federal spending and what she called "Obamacare," Angle cited "corruption at the top and corruption at the bottom, nothing but making deals. And Harry Reid has been chief among those deal makers."

Angle also used her victory speech to thank the Tea Party Express for its support of her campaign. The group has already spent $550,000 in support of Angle and vows to spend an additional $1 million or more to help her defeat Reid.

Angle also has the backing of the Club for Growth, an anti-tax fiscally conservative political group.

"Sharron Angle's victory tonight is a huge victory for the Tea Parties, a huge victory for the Tea Party Express," Tea Party Express spokesman Levi Russell told CNN.

"We have a strong conservative candidate," he added.

Russell also cast an even wider political net.

"Now we get to get down to business and get started with really turning the Congress around," he said.

Critics say Angle is too conservative to win a general election contest, even in a year where the four-term Reid is seen as politically vulnerable. Independents play a major role in Nevada statewide elections. Reid, himself, has said he most wants to face Angle in a general election, confident she lacks broad appeal.

Critics cite some of Angle's beliefs, claiming her positions will turn off large blocs of voters -- including the notion that she wants to eliminate Social Security. Angle's campaign denies that, though the candidate herself calls it a broken system and she has openly stated that she would like to tinker with it. Angle is also in favor of a flat tax and would like to eliminate the Department of Education.

Larry Hart, a consultant to the Angle campaign handling media relations, told CNN, "Sharron Angle is very much in the mainstream of conservative teaching."

Angle's former opponent, Tarkanian, also responded to claims that Angle is too conservative to win the general election against Reid.

"She won the primary," Tarkanian told CNN. "She represents the Republican party. I am going to be fully supportive of her."

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