Posted on | February 9, 2010 | 10 Comments
The prime congressional target for Alabama’s Republicans is Rep. Bobby Bright, whose 2nd District encompasses the Wiregrass region where Odom’s group has become a force to be reckoned with, as has the Wetumpka Tea Party, led by Eric and Becky Gerritson.
The anti-establishment mood represented by the Tea Party movement is a factor in the Republican crusade to unseat Bright, who won the 2nd District seat by a narrow margin in 2008 and whose re-election race is rated a “toss-up” by the Cook Political Report.
Montgomery City Council member Martha Roby, who announced as a GOP candidate last May, was cited by Roll Call as a recruiting success story for the National Republican Congressional Committee. Roby raised $125,000 in the six weeks after she announced her candidacy, but being the handpicked choice of the national GOP establishment may prove more curse than blessing in a year when Republicans are in the midst of a populist insurgency. Many grassroots conservatives are suspicious of the party insiders who disastrously backed Dede Scozzafava last year in the New York 23rd District special election, and whose support of Charlie Crist in this year’s Florida Senate primary sparked a sharp backlash.
Montgomery businessman Rick Barber announced last month that he would also seek the Republican nomination in the 2nd District, bringing his own Tea Party activism into the campaign. A 34-year-old former Marine sergeant and pool-hall owner, Barber was among those who challenged Bright to discuss President Obama’s proposed health-care legislation in a town-hall meeting during the congressional recess last August, an invitation that Bright repeatedly declined. . . .
UPDATE: While I’m down here covering actual Tea Party candidates, David Walsh of the World Socialist Web Site asserts it’s all a sham:
The “Tea Party” movement, which held a convention last weekend in Nashville, Tennessee, is largely a media concoction, aimed at shifting official American political life even further to the right.