Less than an hour after Mississippi Senator Roger Wicker won the vote to chair the National Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee, he announced that Senator Harry Reid would be their “big target” for 2016.
Senator Wicker took the position, beating out Senator Dean Heller of Nevada.
Speaking to Newsmax shortly after the vote, Senator Wicker said Republicans were looking to pick up more seats, including Senator Reid’s.
Senator Wicker is convinced that the senatorial victories achieved on November 4th can be built upon in the 2016 campaign. “Absolutely. We can pick up a couple of seats, and Nevada is certainly one of them. We definitely see an opportunity to win the seat we should have won in 2010,” he said.
In 2010, Harry Reid held his seat in a narrow victory over poorly vetted Sharron Angle, the awkward Tea Party nominee Republicans backed to run against Reid. Angle made a number of awkward remarks and those, coupled with her weak campaigning style handed Reid a victory that that he should not have had.
This time Republicans are seriously determined not to allow that to happen again, and they are working on choosing a solid candidate to run against the much-despised Reid in 2016. Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval appears to be the frontrunner, since he won re-election earlier this month, when Republicans swept the statewide races across the country.
Reid isn’t the only Republican target for 2016. Among other Democrats, Senator Pat Toomey, running for re-election in Pennsylvania is vulnerable.
Speaking about republican vulnerabilities at the next election, Wicker said, “Look, the roles are reversed between Democrats and Republicans from 2010 to 2016, we have got to defend 24 seats and just go down the list and you’ll find a number of them are in blue or purple states. A number of our senators are vulnerable, but I think they can be re-elected.”
First elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1995, in 2007, Wicker was appointed to the Senate to fill a vacancy by close friend and then-Republican Gov. Haley Barbour. Prior to that, Wicker served in the Mississippi State Senate from 1988 to 1994. He is also on the Board of Advisors for the Global Panel Foundation, an NGO that works behind the scenes in crisis areas around the world.