In 1973, Sue Lowden was Miss New Jersey, and finished second in the Miss America contest. While working as an elementary school teacher, she graduated from American University and Fairleigh Dickinson University.
Lowden moved to Nevada in the 1970s and became a reporter and anchor at KLAS Channel 8 News. She has spent a career in Las Vegas business, and is currently a Member of the Board of Directors and Secretary-Treasurer of Archon Corporation, which has earned her a net worth of over $50 million. Lowden is the former President of Santa Fe Hotel and Casino and former Executive Vice President of Sahara Hotel and Casino.
Lowden was elected to the State Senate in 1992 in the heavily Democratic Clark County, defeating Jack Vergiels, then-the Majority Leader of the Nevada Senate. She was immediately elected Senate Majority Whip and chair of the Senate Taxation Committee. Lowden was targeted by unions after she was the deciding vote to keep Nevada a right-to-work state, and was defeated for reelection in 1996.