Possible Senate opponent to Reid worth millions

AP News
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Posted: Dec 18, 2009 8:06 PM

A potential challenger of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is disclosing stock holdings valued at more than $50 million, revealing that she has serious resources available for a political campaign.

Sue Lowden is one of the favorites among nearly a dozen Republicans in Nevada with hopes of taking on Reid, D-Nev. The race promises to be one of the most closely watched campaigns of 2010.

The Senate has many millionaires within its ranks, but Lowden's holdings would certainly put her near the top.

A financial disclosure report Lowden recently filed with the Senate Office of Public Records shows that she and her husband own stock valued at more than $50 million in Archon Corp., a Las Vegas investment and gaming company.

She also serves as treasurer and secretary at the Pioneer Hotel, Inc., and the Sahara Las Vegas Corp. Both casino companies are subsidiaries of Archon.

She receives an annual salary of $148,000 for her work at Archon. The salary for her husband, Paul, is listed at more than $1 million.

The report perhaps doesn't capture the full value of their holdings because candidates and lawmakers are not required to specify the value of an asset once it exceeds $50 million. The couple also jointly own stock in a wide range of companies such as Intel Corp., Proctor & Gamble, Starbucks and Lowe's.

A spokesman for the Lowden campaign said she is not ruling out using personal funds in a campaign against Reid, who has declared that he would like to raise at least $25 million.

"She has indicated she is willing, if necessary, to spend personal money in this campaign, but as of right now, we've been having success in raising campaign contributions," said Lowden's campaign spokesman, Robert Uithoven.

Lowden resigned as chairwoman of the Nevada Republican Party so that she could undertake the race.

Brandon Hall, a spokesman for the Reid campaign, said no amount of money will change the fact that Lowden can't deliver for Nevada the way Reid can.

"These are difficult times for our state, and we need a leader with a steady hand, experience and a proven track record of always being there when Nevada needs him most," Hall said.

Another GOP candidate in the Nevada race, John Chachas, also has substantial assets to tap if he is so inclined to divert them to a campaign. A managing director at Lazard Freres & Co., Chachas listed six assets valued at between $1 million and $5 million each. Those holdings include a personal trust, stock in Anoteros. Inc., and stock in the Great Basin Land Co, according to his financial disclosure report.

Another top contender, Danny Tarkanian, listed three separate holdings valued at more than $1 million. For two of the entities he listed, his campaign noted that he owns just 24.5 percent of the partnership.