The anti-establishment sentiment currently roiling the Republican nomination fight may soon cause turmoil in primaries up and down the ballot.
One high-profile conservative, Becky Gerritson, has picked up some key endorsements in her bid to challenge Alabama Rep. Martha Roby in the GOP primary on March 1.
Gerritson, founder of the Wetumpka Alabama Tea Party, launched her campaign for the seat last Fall. She immediately received the backing of Rick Barber, a conservative activist who lost the 2010 primary to Roby. In November 2010, Roby went on to defeat Dem. Rep. Bobby Bright in the GOP landslide election. Roby has served in Congress since then, being a loyal vote for Republican leadership, according to Conservative HQ.
Recently, Greg Budell, longtime conservative activist and popular host of the highest rated radio talk show in the district, endorsed Gerritson. “Unlike our current representative whose moderate roots have become increasingly apparent since her first term,” Budell said in a press release, “Becky is and has remained the kind of true, red-blooded conservative this district deserves.”
“We need a woman with the energy and passion to fight for the people who produce for America—who pay the taxes and bear the burden—and demand to be heard, and that is why I heartily and without reservation endorse Becky Gerritson for Congress in 2016,” Budell continued.
Gerritson first rose to national prominence after testifying before Congress on the IRS’s inappropriate targeting of conservative activists and organizations. Gerritson’s Tea Party group had been singled out by the IRS for unwarranted scrutiny and intimidation.
Although Roby ran for office as a conservative, in the GOP wave election, she has been a steady vote for Republican leadership and its spending deals with the Obama Administration. Roby, like many Republicans, has spoken out against ObamaCare, the President’s executive orders on amnesty and plans to accept tens of thousands of refugees without additional security screening. At the same time, however, Roby has voted for budgets that fund all of these activities.
“The Republican Party is supposed to be the Party that embraces conservative principles,” Gerritson’s campaign website notes. “Unfortunately, we have seen our Party often fail in that regard. Since taking control of Congress in 2010, moderate, Establishment Republicans have added $4.1 trillion to our debt and have failed to stop Obama’s radical agenda. We need new conservative leadership!”
Gerritson has been endorsed by the Alabama Tea Party and Conservative Coalition. The Madison Project, a national organization of grass roots activists has also endorsed Gerritson. Other Tea Party and conservative organizations are likely to endorse Gerritson before the March primary. Later this week, the Tea Party Patriots Citizen Action fund, a super PAC planning to assist conservative candidates, plans to endorse Gerritson.
Most primaries for the House and Senate are only now coming into focus. It is likely that several incumbent Republicans in both the House and Senate face spirited challenges from conservatives this year.
With President Obama no longer running for office, a lot of the frustration with his policies will find its voice against Republican lawmakers who facilitated and abetted the President’s policies. For the past few cycles, activists have elected Republicans in a bid to block Obama’s worst policies.
There is a growing realization, though, that they must now elect conservatives if they hope to reverse those damaging policies.