Tonight’s expected outcome in the 2nd District came just as predicted, Scott Rigell emerged victorious in a plurality victory over 5 other candidates, including Ben Loyola, the HR Tea Party (board) backed candidate. While the endorsement was ill-advised as an anti-establishment group acting exactly as the same establishment they claim to want to replace, the voters at the end of the day disagreed with their assessment. That in and of itself would have been fine, that’s what voters are for. Ben Loyola, Bert Mizusawa and Scott Taylor all graciously conceded to Rigell (not sure of Sandlin or Maulbeck) including public appearances with Rigell by Mizusawa and Loyola.
The Tea Party Chair on the other hand? A complete different story.
In the latest media blunder, the HR Tea Party Chair and driving force behind the anti-Scott Rigell movement, on the heels of her baffling ‘defeat the Republican machine in Hampton Roads’ quote provided to the Virginian-Pilot last month, provided another doozy in resounding defeat to the HR Tea Party board’s agenda tonight.
Karen Miner Hurd, founder and chairwoman of the Hampton Roads Tea Party, blamed Loyola’s loss on the large field of candidates. If the three bottom candidates had dropped out and coalesced behind Loyola, she said, he would have won.
“They were selfish,” she said.
Quotes like that are an embarrassment to the Tea Party. The Tea Party prides itself on having involved new people into the process, people who have no otherwise spoken up. It’s brought new blood, new life, and new focus to the nation, keeping our leaders in check and providing the chance for new candidates to throw their hats in the ring and run on their beliefs and principles.
Karen Hurd has the audacity to a) call anyone selfish for running for public office and b) assumes that the combined 16.5% of the three bottom candidates would automatically all go for Loyola? That defies political credibility while providing more embarrassment for the organization.
Additionally, those ‘selfish’ candidates she blasts considered themselves ‘Tea Party’ candidates, Maulbeck in particular said repeatedly he felt he had more in common with the Tea Party rather then the Republican Party. Taylor made dozens of appearances at Tea Party events and platforms. Not only does the Tea Party (board) not reward their efforts with their ill-advised endorsement, after their establishment candidate loses, they insult the other candidates who were reaching out to them! Great membership outreach for the HRTP, an organization with 825 individuals on facebook and 975 registered on their website. For a group desperately trying to grow, insulting like-minded indviduals while membership hovers at 1/2 percent of the population in Hampton Roads is a brilliant tactical move. Bravo.
What is selfish is using self-appointed positions as platforms for an agenda. Rather then blaming three individuals who had the audacity and courage to step forward and say I want the opportunity to represent my district, the Hampton Roads Tea Party (board) should point the fingers at themselves. In their ill-advised decision to endorse a candidate, the Hampton Roads Tea Party (board) positioned themselves for failure. In reacting to that failure, they continue their narcissistic naivety by condemning individuals who showed more courage then any one of their members, candidates who stepped forward, put in hundreds of hours of hard work and dedication for the opportunity to serve something larger then themselves.
That’s more then anyone can say for the Tea Party (board) in this election. Ultimately, the voters in the 2nd District agreed and rejected their selfish agenda. Karen Hurd owes Scott Taylor, Ed Maulbeck and Jessica Sandlin an apology, publicly, for her bone-headed and narcissistic comments. After doing so, the Tea Party can now focus it’s energy where it truly belongs, holding our leaders accountable for their irrational spending and getting back to basics.
Make no mistake, there are some selfish individuals licking their wounds tonight. However, they are not Taylor, Maulbeck or Sandlin.