Group trying to get ex-first lady Dawn Gibbons to run against Harry Reid, says goal is to raise $45 million

Back in 2004, then Rep. Jim Gibbons thought about running against Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

He then thought better of it.

Now, 10 years later, a group called the Strategic Political Action Network is trying to garner support for the former governor's ex-wife to challenge the Senate Majority leader. The only problem: She supported Reid in 2010 and has no interest in running against him, she told me today.

Indeed, Gibbons, who now works at the same TV station I do (gotta love Nevada) told me the group solicited her candidacy via Facebook, and she told them she was not interested. "They sent me a Facebook message," said, who is listed on the group's site as part of its speaker's bureau. "Not exactly something you take seriously."

Nevertheless, SPAN senior partner Abigail Cornwell sent out a solicitation this week, including to major Nevada donors, as if Gibbons might be running and saying the target is to raise $45 million. In 2010, Sharron Angle raised $30 million in her loss to Reid.

The missive is comical and makes me wonder about how Cornwell is identified on the group's site: "Located in Washington DC, Abigail has connections you can only dream of and she puts those connections to work fundraising and garnering endorsements for our clients."

Yes, dreamy connections.

Here's the letter, professionally slugged, "Taking your Temp" and sent Tuesday:


I'm excited to contact you about a race SPAN will be working on in election year 2016, and I feel compelled to contact you about it, so that I may take your Temperature on it.  As many people know, Senator Harry Reid will be up for re-election in 2016 in Nevada.   We have, what we believe is a supremely qualified candidate, in Former Nevada First Lady Dawn Gibbons, who as history recorded, is the only First Lady who ever also served in the Nevada  State Legislature.
I wanted to just drop a line to you, so that I may gauge your interest in this race.  Ultimately, our goal will be to develop a Campaign Board of Directors the likes of which, have never been seen.
Sharon (sic) Angle ran with Tea Party support in 2010, and raised 30 million, after speaking with our Director of Western State Strategy, 45 million is the goal.
Dawn will need to announce after THIS election cycle (this November)... So what we're looking for, obviously is seed money from all our supporters to get Dawn's campaign off the ground.
You can find Dawn's bio on our website's speakers bureau page at
Abigail Cornwell, Senior Partner
Congressional Affairs Liaison, SPAN
Strategic Political Action Network (of California)
Executive VP | Game Changer PAC