Former Tea Party Senate Candidate Sharron Angle Backing Duane Sand

So far perennial federal candidate Duane Sand hasn’t found a lot of enthusiasm in North Dakota for his 4th bid to be elected to Congress. His fundraising report from earlier this year showed only lackluster numbers, including contributions from just 8 citizens of North Dakota.

But there does seem to be some support for Sand outside of North Dakota. It’s long been rumored that groups like Club for Growth had been courting him to run, and now former “tea party” Senate candidate from Nevada Sharron Angle is fundraising for him according to David Cantanese:

Sharron Angle is going with another underdog in a U.S. Senate primary, backing retired Navy Cmdr. Duane Sand’s bid in North Dakota.

A fundraising appeal sent out Thursday noted that Rep. Rick Berg “was the the ONLY Republican seeking a seat in the Senate that voted yes for Obama’s debt deal.”

The 2010 Nevada Senate candidate continued, “Heritage Foundation recently gave Berg a score of just 58 percent on their Conservative Scorecard. That’s lousy.”

This move isn’t surprising. It looks like Sand has marketed his fundraising connections to Angle previously.

“Sand has a bit of a reputation as a gadfly,” writes Catanese noting Sand’s three previous runs for Congress, the last of which (2008) he lost by 24 points to Rep. Earl Pomeroy who was subsequently knocked off in the next cycle by current Rep. Rick Berg.

The guy who Sand wants to wrest the NDGOP’s Senate nomination from.

Sand has made noises about forcing Berg past the nominating convention, which traditionally chooses North Dakota’s candidates, to a ballot primary and if he has the backing of out of state money he may well be able to make good on that threat. But national conservative interests would do well to tread lightly. As imperfect as Berg has been from the perspective of conservatives, I just don’t sense that there’s the level of discontent with his job performance that made these primary challenge efforts popular in the last cycle (Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, etc.).

Nor is Sand the sort of inspiring candidate who could carry such an effort, I think.

I, of course, welcome all comers to the nomination process. I think the competition makes for better candidates overall. But if Angle and others are betting on Sand, it’s a long shot.

Rob Port

Rob Port is the editor of In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters.

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