Published Thursday, Aug. 25, 2011 | 11:17 a.m.
Updated Thursday, Aug. 25, 2011 | 2:19 p.m.
CARSON CITY -- Sharron Angle is returning to familiar stomping grounds. The conservative Nevada Republican said Thursday she will join the "Reclaiming America Tour," a cross-country bus tour hosted by the Tea Party Express.
The 17-day tour begins Saturday in Napa, Calif., and will stop later that day in Sparks, Nev.
It will make 30 stops in 19 states and conclude Sept. 12 in Tampa, Fla., with a Republican presidential debate hosted by CNN and the Tea Party Express.
"We want them to pay attention," Angle told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. The debate, she said, shows "the tea party is having an impact on the American landscape."
Angle said she will give speeches at every stop and attend the debate as an observer.
"The debate is significant because the presidential hopefuls will be responding to questions that pertain to fiscal responsibility, free markets and limited government," she said in a statement.
The tea party's endorsement last year launched Angle to the national stage when she emerged the victor from a crowded Republican primary field to take on Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid in the U.S Senate race.
Angle lost to Reid by 6 percentage points, or 40,000 votes.
A former state assemblywoman, Angle is a frequent candidate for public office and has a loyal, grass-roots following that allowed her to win the GOP U.S. Senate nomination despite being shunned by the Republican Party establishment.
But she took herself out of the running for Nevada's upcoming Sept. 13 special election to fill a vacant U.S. House seat after a judge rejected rules set up by the secretary of state to allow almost anyone interested in running to appear on the ballot.
Instead, District Judge James Russell said the central committees of the major political parties should pick their candidates. The Nevada Supreme Court later agreed.
Angle, at the time, said Russell's decision amounted to an "illegitimate process" that disenfranchises voters.
The court ruling knocked 14 Republicans off the ballot, and the state GOP central committee embraced former state Sen. Mark Amodei as its nominee.
Since then, Angle has been promoting her book, "Right Angle: One Woman's Journey to Reclaim the Constitution," released in June. Proceeds go toward Angle's political action committee, Our Voice.
Angle has been vague on her plans but has said she hasn't ruled out a future run for office or entering the congressional race in 2012.
She reiterated that statement Thursday, saying her taking to the road with the Tea Party Express does not signal her immediate return to politics as a candidate.
For now, she said she is focusing on the mission of her PAC - to remove Reid as Senate majority leader by electing more Republicans and focusing on issues related to "election integrity."