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Tea Party Candidates Struggle on Tuesday

June 2, 2010

Tuesday’s Republican primaries in both Alabama and Mississippi saw prominent Tea Party candidates struggle against their traditional Republican counterparts.

MISSISSIPPI: Fox News Contributor and Tea Party activist Angela McGlowan finished a distant third in her attempt to win the AL-01 nomination.  As a woman and an African-American, the Tea Party had high hopes for McGlowan, but her candidacy never gained any momentum.  McGlowan finished with a disappointing 15%.

ALABAMA: There were big expectations for another African-American Tea Party activist, Les Phillips, in Alabama-05, especially after he proclaimed that as an African-American he could take on Obama without being called a racist.  Phillips finished a distant third with a mere 16% of the Alabama-05 Republican vote.

The one Tea Party “success” in Tuesday’s Republican primaries was Rick Barber in AL-02. Unfortunately, Barber’s success was tempered by the fact that his distant second place finish on Tuesday does not hold much promise for the runoff on July 13th; Barns received 29% of the vote, far behind Martha Roby’s 49%.  Barber was endorsed by Tea Party Leader Michael Johns, Atlas Shrugs’ Pamela Geller and RedState.com’s Erick Erickson.  Minimal results for a candidate with such high profile backing.

If the Tea Party wants to make inroads into the political arena, they will need much better performances than what we saw on Tuesday.

UPDATE: 6/2 3:45 pm – After speaking with a couple of insiders, it seems that the problems that McGlowan and Phillips had were campaign related and had nothing to do with their Tea Party affiliation.

Angela McGlowan: Many speculated as to whether Angela was a serious candidate who understood the issues of her district.  After a February radio interview there was no longer speculation; McGlowan proved that she was not a serious candidate.

Les Phillips on the other hand proved himself to be a smart businessman who understood government and the issues of his community.  Unfortunately, Phillips problems arose from a campaign staff that was more interested in control than campaigning and the unwise use of a fundraising firm.  Phillips did produce an excellent television commercial at the end of his campaign:

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