As the dust clears from the first round of voting, we begin to see the impact we had in the primary elections. It’s most telling to see how well those who endorsed us—that is, the views held by the Tea Party movement—fared at the polls. We were the clear winners in many races, in that many of those who espoused conservative views on fiscal and social issues secured their party nominations or made it into upcoming run-off elections.
At the state level, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst (who claims to hold tea party views on the major issues and is endorsed by former Governor and presidential candidate Mike Huckabee) and former TX Solicitor General Ted Cruz (who the press has nicknamed the “Tea Party candidate” and who has been endorsed by such national Tea Party champions as former Governor and vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, former Senator and presidential candidate Rick Santorum, commentator Sean Hannity, and Senators Jim DeMint and Rand Paul) are headed to a run-off on July 31st.
Locally, in Senate District 25, two conservative champions and SATP stalwarts—former Chairman of the TX Railroad Commission Elizabeth Ames Jones and Dr. Donna Campbell—together garnered 64 percent of the vote. In the end, Dr. Campbell edged out Ms. Jones and will face incumbent Senator Jeff Wentworth in the run-off. [You may read Ms. Jones' assessment of the race here.]
Other candidates who have been regular attendees at SATP events and support the SATP principles of limited, Constitutional government and conservative economic and social principles also won voter approval: Ken Mercer for State Board of Education, District 5; Susan Pamerleau for Bexar County Sheriff; Robert Stovall for Bexar County Tax Assessor, Alma Perez Jackson for TX House District 125; and judicial candidates Steve Hilbig, Art Rossi, Kevin O’Connell, Joseph Appelt, and Renee McElhaney. And this is by no means a complete list.
To be sure, there were painful losses as well. SATP supporters Matt Beebe and Ann Comerio fought valiantly in their bids for TX House District 121 and District Judge for 166th District, respectively. In the end, we can only hope their victorious opponents will take stock of the significant support for the Tea Party principles their challengers espoused and represent their constituents appropriately.
With the primary season behind us, we now gear up for the run-offs and soon after that the general elections in November. The SATP is preparing even now to play a major and active role in the national and local debate. As a 501(c)(4) organization, however, that means two things which bear repeating from time to time.
First, that our legal status does not allow us as an organization to endorse or support specific candidates. As individuals who support the SATP, however, you may support any candidate you choose. In fact, we encourage you to do so. We remind you of this only because sometimes our patriots are so passionate about a candidate—and in fact the candidate is so “tea party” him- or herself—that is hard to imagine supporting anyone else. We feel your pain! But the law is the law, and we have a legal obligation to abide by it. The SATP can and will continue to educate on and advocate for solutions to those specific problems that we identify within the scope of our mission.
Second, where the SATP cannot go, we encourage YOU to go! Thank you for your support in the past and please continue to support our efforts as we go forward. Specifically, give generously to financially support the SATP and the work it is doing to educate and get out the vote; our only support comes from patriots like you. Research on your own and publicize individual candidates’ stands on these issues. If they have been in positions to act on these issues, how have they done? If they have not been in such positions to elicit change (which we cannot hold against them—remember the noble concept of citizen servant-leader), what is the likelihood of their follow-through once in office? Volunteer in their campaigns. Submit articles and make comments to this website. Join a neighborhood group. Attend our general meetings and other events. Help us get out the vote in July and November.
The beauty of the tea party movement is not in its unitary stand on the specifics or even “big machine” advocacy on these, but the stirrings in the hearts of many who will stand up, speak out, and VOTE for candidates who will keep true to these principles. In short, it is the personal actions of many like you at the grassroots level to make change happen.
Thank you for your support in the past and please continue to support us as we march to November. Your support will ensure victories which we cannot afford to lose!