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Chuck Purgason left out of national Tea Party surge?


From P-D:

JEFFERSON CITY • Will the real Tea Party candidate please stand up?

The front-runner for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate, Roy Blunt, is bringing in national Tea Party favorite Michelle Bachmann — a Minnesota congresswoman — to help him raise money and rally the troops this weekend.

That has caused 28 of the state’s loose collection of Tea Party groups to cry foul.

While those groups haven’t endorsed anyone in Tuesday’s primary, many of their members say underdog Chuck Purgason, a state senator, is the real Tea Party candidate.

“Most Tea Party supporters I know will be baffled by Michele Bachmann helping someone with a record like Roy Blunt before the primary vote,” said Jedidiah Smith, a Tea party leader in Franklin County.

Smith was one of the organizers of a Tea Party forum in the capital city early in the campaign in which Purgason won a straw poll. Blunt didn’t attend.

The Bachmann incident highlights Purgason’s challenge: Unlike some other Tea Party candidates across the country, he has been unable to attract support — or money — from the Bachmanns of the world.

Why? In part, because Blunt has spent the last decade crisscrossing the country raising money for them.

The result is that Blunt has a massive war chest and a commanding lead in the polls, and he is expected to face Democrat Robin Carnahan, Missouri’s secretary of state, in the November general election. Carnahan faces only token opposition on Tuesday.

An easy Blunt win would put Missouri at odds with other states in what some are calling the political year of the Tea Party movement.

Blunt, 60, is a seven-term congressman from Springfield at a time when having experience in Washington is seen as a liability. Tea Party upstarts knocked out party regulars in Utah and Kentucky. And in Florida, Republican Gov. Charlie Crist chose to run for Senate as an independent rather than face a Tea Party-supported candidate.

One Comment leave one →
  1. billy sol permalink
    07/29/2010 6:02 PM

    I like what I hear from Mr. Purgason, but this election is too important to risk a candidate that is not well known throughout the state, and carnahan is very beatable with blunt. I generally agree with the teapartiers, but they may have blown a great opportunity to oust Harry Reid, a true blackguard! Purgason should begin a campaign aimed at claire mc numbskull in ’12.

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