Several candidates across the US favored by tea party groups did well in Tuesday night’s political primaries. Most notably Sharron Angle, a former Nevada state representative who won the GOP nomination to face Senator Harry Reid. Lora Halberstadt, Coordinator for the Racine Tea Party, is pleased the results although the group does not back candidates themselves.
“I think it’s great. There is other ways to influence elections beside endorsement,” says Halberstadt which includes educating the public on the issues and where candidates stand on them.
Tea parties, she emphasizes, is a movement and not groups with hierarchies seen in political parties.
Although the Racine group actively meets with twenty local members on planning events , Halberstadt corresponds with thousands though email, “all of those consider themselves tea partiers,” some of whom may only come out for events.
Many Wisconsin tea party groups are 501-3C non-profits, another reason Halberstadt says they do not endorse candidates running for office.