Former Tea Party Leader turned Senate candidate Jamie Radtke knows that one person stands in her way to get to the GOP nomination. That person is the man who once held the seat and wants it back. George Allen.
A profile piece in The Daily Caller notes that “Radtke, who aspires to be like Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul or South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint, seeks to present herself as Tea Party favorite and paint Allen as part of the establishment.” [Jamie Radtke seeks to ride Tea Party wave into the Senate in 2012, The Daily Caller, 3/17/11]
It appears that Radtke’s associates in the Virginia Tea Party Patriot Federation want to help her in this fight. Earlier this week VTPPF Chairman Mark Lloyd issued a statement went after Allen for hiring long time Virginia campaign veteran and Virginia GOP First Vice Chairman Mike Thomas to run his campaign.
Allen associates and most political experts across the Commonwealth saw the move to hire Thomas, who ran Allen’s successful 1993 campaign for Governor, as a sign that Allen is in this to win it. Bearing Drift’s JR Hoeft said of Thomas “he’s an ass-kicker.”
Hoeft may be right because in his statement Lloyd said, “To add insult to injury, Mike Thomas has spent the last few years hard at work rigging the system for Allen to win the Party’s nomination; for example, insisting on a primary instead of a convention to nominate the GOP candidate for Senate in order to blunt the energy and passion of the Tea Party.”
Lloyd calls for Thomas to resign his leadership positions in the Republican Party. Including his membership in the Chesterfield County GOP Committee. The same committee Radtke joined after declaring her candidacy.
But is it hypocritical of Lloyd to call for Thomas to give up GOP leadership while his organization seeks to support Radtke? Radtke only recently gave up her position of Tea Party leadership and still holds considerable influence with the group.
Either way it appears that both candidates are ready to fight for the nomination.
Perhaps even more interesting, all of this is taking place while the Democrats remain without a declared candidate.