LAS VEGAS -- Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has been getting support from unlikely places lately including Republicans for Reid. Wednesday, Nevada's former First Lady Dawn Gibbons renewed her belief in Reid.
"You know, he's a little fighter and he doesn't give up," said Dawn Gibbons, (R) former first lady.
Republicans helping Reid. It's not something many expected this year, but Gibbons is joining aa rising tide. It's happening because of what Reid brings to Nevada but also because of Sharron Angle.
"Sharron Angle has taken an extreme and dangerous stand about our children's education," Gibbons said. Gibbons and Angle were both part of the Nevada Legislature, but Gibbons chaffs at Angle's call to minimize the Millennium Scholarship Fund and deny stimulus money for education.
"Just another example of Sharron Angle's oppressive philosophy," said Gibbons.
"It helps to shape the narrative a bit," said David Damore, a UNLV political science professor, who says GOP defections for Reid, like former Sheriff Bill Young and political rainmaker Sig Rogich play into the Democrat talking points of Angle being extreme or dangerous.
"You have pretty mainstream establishment-type Republicans making it clear that they're not excited about her candidacy here," said Damore.
But Angle struck back. Blasted for gaffes new and old, her campaign created an Internet soundboard of Harry Reid comments. "Despite a misspelling, Angle has a long line of quotes to choose from.
Damore says Reid's experience may also be his weakness. "People don't like to see the sausage being made and he is the sausage maker."
Gibbons, and the other Republicans in her corner, say losing the power and influence of Reid would be too much.
"We are a very small state. I don't think it's ever gonna happen in our lifetime when we're going to have someone like Senator Reid that is fourth most powerful person on the planet in his position fighting for us," said Damore. Angle would start at the back of the line. Gibbons and the rest don't want Nevada to go back there with her.
Angle provided 8 News NOW with a statement saying, as a former teacher, Angle cares about education, but when it comes to the Millennium Scholarship, Angle did vote for it at first, but "her concern developed later due to the potential of non-citizens having access to the scholarship funds and whether the taxpayers would have to take up the bill for the program if the revenue from the tobacco lawsuit fell short."