Glenn Beck-Inspired Tea Party Candidates Step Up To Oust Veteran GOP Lawmakers

Eric Forcade, a tea party candidate challenging Rep. Bill Young (R-FL)

Eric Forcade, a tea party candidate challenging Rep. Bill Young (R-FL)

Glenn Beck, who has waged a conspiratorial, hateful campaign against liberals and his other political enemies all year, has been galvanizing his supporters to run for office. Today, conservative activist Eric Forcade announced that he is running in the Republican primary to unseat longtime Rep. C.W. Bill Young (R-FL). In explaing his reason for running, Forcade said he was inspired by the “values that have been popularized by Glenn Beck.”

Beck’s 9/12 project and its closely related “tea parties” have inspired a number of other challengers to Republican lawmakers deemed insufficiently “pure”:

— Phil Troyer, an attorney and former staffer to Republican Sens. Dan Coats (R-IN) and Richard Lugar (R-IN), is challenged incumbent Rep. Mark Souder (R-IN). An avid tea party supporter, Troyer has attacked Souder as a “big spending liberal.” Rachel Grubb, who is involved with Beck’s 9/12 project, is also challenging Souder.

— Matt Sakalosky, a businessman who is a member of Beck’s 9/12 project, is challenging Rep. Lee Terry (R-NE).

— Earlier this year, Rep. Bob Inglis (R-SC) had the audacity to criticize Beck. Beck has marshaled his supporters into a crowded primary to take out Inglis. One of the challengers, college professor Christina Jeffrey, directly cites Inglis’ criticism of Beck as part of the reason she is running.

— Liz Lauber, a former aide to tea party leader and corporate lobbyist Dick Armey, is challenging Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO).

Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite (R-FL) is being challenged by Jason Sager, who said he is running because of Brown-Waite’s support for moderate Republican Dede Scozzafava, the opponent of Beck mentee Doug Hoffman.

— Even NRCC Chairman Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX), charged with recruiting Republicans to challenge House Democrats in 2010, is facing a contested primary. Conservative activist David Smith says he will rely on the tea party movement to bring down Sessions.

The effort to oust imperfect conservative Republicans is buoyed by an internal Republican National Committee struggle to create an ideological litmus test for judging candidates. Elsewhere in the Beck-inspired movement, conservative activists are eagerly sending rubber chickens to Senators who voted for cloture to begin debate on health reform.


In addition, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), who Beck counts as an enemy because of his former climate change and immigration views, is potentially facing a serious challenge from current radio show host and former Rep. J.D. Hayworth (R-AZ). Hayworth has found a following within the tea party movement.

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,Other Glenn Beck inspired tea party challengers:

— Self-proclaimed “RINO Hunter” Joe Petronis is challenging Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX).

— Real estate broker Chris Riggs, who counts Glenn Beck as his favorite TV show, is challenging Rep. Ken Calvert (R-CA).

— Conservative activist Clayton Thibodeau is challenging Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R-CA) in the GOP primary. Thibodeau’s website notes he supports Glenn Beck’s “9/12 Patriots” and Glenn Beck’s “56 Re-Founders.”

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