RENO, Nev. (AP) — Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin was back in Nevada on Monday to help rev up the Tea Party Express for the stretch drive of a coast-to-coast campaign determined to throw out Sen. Harry Reid and his Democratic allies in Congress.
Mrs. Palin headlined a rally outside county GOP headquarters in Reno to kick off the 15-day bus tour hoping to capitalize on government discontent and unify conservatives two weeks away from the off-year election.
Hundreds of people gathered hours before the 10 a.m. rally was to begin.
Paul and Lorraine Walter made the six-hour trip from Grants Pass, Ore., where they are backing Republican challenger Art Robinson against veteran Democratic Rep. Peter DeFazio.
“We were here real early in the morning to see Sarah, ” Lorraine Walter said. “We believe people are so fed up with everything in Washington, so we going to go to the polls and have a big victory.”
Supporters waved American flags and signs that read, “Impeach Obama, Dump Reid,” ”Stop spending,” and “Americans are not arrogant. Government is.”
Mrs. Palin, the popular 2008 vice presidential nominee was appearing on behalf of Sharron Angle, the tea party-backed Republican locked in a tight race against Mr. Reid, the Senate majority leader who is seeking a fifth term.
“I think Reid is toast,” said Tom Daly, a retiree who worked in Washington, D.C., and moved from California to Nevada five years ago. “He has led the Obama agenda that has failed and people don’t want.”
Polls have shown the race is a dead heat with three weeks until Election Day and early voting already under way in Nevada.
Ms. Angle couldn’t attend Monday because the national committee based in California has made independent expenditures on her behalf and federal laws prohibit coordination between campaigns and independent groups.
The Tea Party Express tour was headed to Elko later Monday, then on to Ely and Las Vegas on Tuesday. It wraps up in New Hampshire on Nov. 1.
More than 9,000 people showed up in Mr. Reid’s hometown of Searchlight in March when Mrs. Palin headlined the first big tea party rally.