A third-party candidate running on the Tea Party of Nevada ticket suggested that he’s willing to drop out of the Nevada U.S. Senate race to help GOP candidate Sharron Angle if he receives an apology from the Tea Party Express, an organization that ran commercials earlier this year calling him a fraud.
Scott Ashjian, an obscure candidate who was accused of running to split the conservative vote and help re-elect Democratic Sen. Harry Reid, made the comments in audio at a meeting with Angle last week leaked to journalist Jon Ralston.
“It has nothing to do with money,” Ashjian said when asked what his “needs” are to get out of the race. “It has everything to do with the Tea Party Express that’s backed you and destroyed me in the press and we need to get that resolved. And if that can be resolved, then we can get on board. Otherwise, we’re prepared to get it on the next thirty days like none other.”
Angle explains that being an independent expenditure group, she can’t promise to make the group do anything, though says she will do anything she “can personally.” She goes on to suggest an apology from Tea Party Express could come after the election.
Reached for comment, Tea Party Express spokesman Levi Russell emailed, “Sounds like a plea for attention.”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ajT9IgL7SG8
In March, the Tea Party Express ran commercials accusing Ashjian of being a spoiler meant to siphon votes away from the Republicans in favor of Reid. “We at the Tea Party Express have a message for Scott Ashjian, whose been trying to pretend he’s in the Tea Party Movement: Get lost,” said Mark Williams, a former Tea Party Express spokesman, in the ad.
In an interview earlier this spring with The Daily Caller, Ashjian denied that’s the case. “There is absolutely no truth to the rumor that Harry Reid is behind my campaign,” Ashjian said then. “I’ve never met Harry Reid, don’t support Harry Reid, I run the opposite of Harry Reid.”
In the meeting with Angle, Ashjian — who is involved in several lawsuits over his candidacy — is told that he could be the reason that Angle loses if he stays in the race.