Texas Tea, A Bitter Cup of Defeat
by Charles Lemos, Wed Mar 03, 2010 at 10:06:52 AM EST
Though one can't discount the fact the Deborah Medina, the Texas businesswoman turned Tea Party candidate for Governor, received over 272,000 votes, good enough for a 19 percent share, in yesterday's election, there were other races in which the Tea Partiers fielded candidates. The "Take Back America" crowd got left behind at the polls. None fared especially well.
Over in the Texas 12th Congressional District that encompasses Fort Worth, Congresswoman Kay Granger, a seven-term incumbent, had drawn two primary challengers both claiming to have Tea Party support. When all was said and done, Congresswoman Granger defeated anti-abortion candidate Mike Brasovan and north Fort Worth wholesale grocer Matthew Kelly by winning 70 percent of the vote.
Bud Kennedy of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram sheds light on a Tea Party candidate who imploded in a race for the Texas legislature.
The Tea Parties' best chance for a victory was in Burleson, where candidate Darren Yancy was supposed to walk into the Texas Senate after incumbent state Sen. Kip Averitt came down sick and couldn't campaign. Yet Yancy self-destructed.
Voters learned he was suspended as an "untrustworthy" real estate agent by the Texas Real Estate Commission.
He had to explain suing Burleson and a local youth league for $500,000 over a baseball scrap.
He told radio listeners that ACORN wanted to defeat him and that he expects to get "national attention."
He called for shooting illegal immigrants at the border but said he's pro-life.
Oh, and he consistently misspelled Waco's McLennan County as McClennan. Voters were choosing Averitt in early returns.
Looks like the Tea Parties got iced.
It was bitter cup of Texas Tea served yesterday. No incumbent GOP House member in the Texas delegation was seriously imperiled by any of their grassroots über-conservative Tea Party challengers. Their best effort came in the Texas Fourth Congressional District in the northeastern part of the state against the former Blue Dog Democrat turned Republican Ralph Hall where Congressman Hall eked out a 33 point margin win. From the Dallas Morning News
The North Texas congressional delegation held off challenges in Republican primaries, many beating back Tea Party opponents.
And 86-year-old U.S. Rep. Ralph Hall, R-Rockwall, beat five contenders in his bid for a 16th term representing Rockwall County, part of Collin County and northeast Texas.
Hall’s closest challenger was Steve Clark of Heath, who spent more than $300,000 of his own money through mid-February. This was one of the closest primaries in recent years for Hall, who switched parties before the 2004 primary.
“The difference was, I’ve been on the floor of the House till midnight every night working against that health care bill,” Hall said. “I’ve had to be up there doing my job. I was afraid this time.”
Clark tried to appeal to Tea Party voters, as did another challenger, Jerry Ray Hall, who filed to run as “Jerry Ray (Tea) Hall.” Clark said he and Ralph Hall aligned on most issues. But he said it is time for Hall, the oldest member of the House, to step aside.
Rep. Pete Sessions, who leads Republicans’ congressional election efforts, trounced a Tea Party-identified candidate, financial analyst David Smith.
Smith billed himself as “the constitutional conservative candidate” and hammered Sessions on votes for the 2008 bank bailout and Sessions’ support of a moderate candidate in a New York special congressional election last year.
Dallas Tea Party leader Ken Emanuelson now tells us that it wasn't about winning elections. “Our job is to educate people and to get people to the polls,” he said. “We tell everybody to look at the candidates. If the incumbent is the right person, then vote for him.”