Senate Republican Leader Won't Campaign in Nevada Against Senate Democratic Leader

July 21, 2010 - 6:00 PM
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) will not campaign in Nevada against Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), according to a senior Republican aide.

Senate Minority Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) spoke on the Senate floor on Wednesday about how BP -- the oil company responsible for the ongoing oil spill in the Gulf Coast -- helped write the Kerry Lieberman bill on global warming that is being debated by lawmakers. (AP photo)

(CNSNews.com) – Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) will not campaign in Nevada against Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) who is seeking reelection in November, according to a senior Republican aide.
 
“He’s helping Republicans all over the map, but he’s not going to Nevada,” the senior Republican aide told CNSNews.com when asked if McConnell was going to campaign on behalf of Reid's Republican opponent.
 
In explaining why the Republican minority leader was not campaigning against the Democratic Senate majority leader, the aide said, “It's pretty standard Senate procedure--for example, Reid didn't go to [Kentucky]” to campaign against McConnell.
 
The senior aide said that McConnell has contributed the maximum $5,000 to the campaign of Sharron Angle, Reid's Republican opponent.
 
McConnell’s last re-election bid was in 2008. Although he defeated his Democratic opponent that year, it was no easy task.
 
In 2008, Reid did not go to Kentucky to campaign against McConnell.
 
However, then-chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), during a pen and pad press briefing in November 2008, told reporters that he and Reid had “discussed” the DSCC’s $6 million effort to oust McConnell. 
 
“Harry Reid and I discussed it and the rules of etiquette were broken with [former South Dakota Democratic Senator] Tom Daschle, and maybe they’ll be restored after this election, whatever the outcome is in Kentucky,” said Schumer.
 
Schumer also said, "Let me say this: We did not go after Kentucky's seat any more or less because Mitch McConnell was the party leader. We went after it like any other seat. We tried to be strategic here and figure out which seats we had the best chance at and focus on them.”

The National Republican Senatorial Committee, the Republican National Committee, and the office of GOP Senate Candidate Angle, did not return calls to comment on this story.
 
Until 2004, “no individual senator had ever crossed a state line to campaign in person against a member from the other party since 1901,” according to Senate Associate Historian Donald Ritchie, the Las Vegas Sun reported.
 
Senate decorum was lost in 2004 when then-Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) went to South Dakota to campaign against then-Sen. Daschle, who was the minority leader at the time.