Politics

Tea Party Patriots go local with candidate-training classes for school board, county council races



Tea Party Patriots plan to help conservative candidates win county and municipal elections next year similar to the way the group helped usher in a new class of Republicans in Congress a decade ago. 

The grassroots group is teaming with American Majority, a conservative training organization, to offer workshops in seven states between November and February: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Ohio and Pennsylvania. 

Tea Party Patriots co-founder Jenny Beth Martin said the training is designed for people running for municipal offices, such as mayors and city officials, and builds upon nationwide backlash against COVID-19 mandates and public school policies.

The classes are organized around a simple message of stopping liberal politics in schools and public health policies that go too far, Ms. Martin said.

“As we watch a full-fledged attack on our freedoms from the local level all the way to the federal level, we simply can’t depend on the current class of politicians to save us,” she said in a statement. “From local school boards allowing — and, in some cases, forcing — our children to learn about anti-American concepts to city councils, mayors, and governors forcing mandates on the population that are a direct violation of our rights as free people, the time for patriots to step up and participate in government is now.”

National polls suggest there is a historic opportunity for Ms. Martin’s army of supporters to make gains. An ABC News/Washington Post poll this month found Republican congressional candidates held their largest lead in midterm election voter preferences than at any time in the last 40 years. A 51% majority of registered voters preferred Republican candidates. 

Ms. Martin said she is sensing an opportunity in 2022 for candidates to run on a conservative platform of ending medical mandates by government and businesses and getting schools back in the business of education instead of indoctrination or staying closed entirely. 

The crop of aspiring candidates also is skewing much younger than when the tea party movement arose a decade ago, she said. Tea Party Patriots is seeing parents with school-age children, many in their 30s and 40s, interested in entering political races. When the tea party first emerged as a political force in 2009-2010, the movement attracted mostly Americans who were in their 50s and 60s. 

Ms. Martin said her team has not decided how it will advise candidates to talk about former President Donald Trump and the 2020 election. However, the organization is separately building election integrity task forces to restore voters’ trust in electoral results in states such as Georgia that were on the front line of Mr. Trump’s false stolen-election claims.

American Majority lists eight campaign and election integrity training events on its website scheduled between Nov. 15 and Dec. 15, in locations across Colorado, Georgia, Minnesota, Nevada and Wisconsin. 

Ms. Martin thinks voters’ attitudes in 2021 strongly resemble 2009 in terms of their focus on issues. She said many of her activists have gotten involved because of Mr. Trump and his “America First” agenda. 

She described the focus on schooling and mandates as picking up where the Trump administration left off, only more focused on the local level and less encumbered by partisan politics in Washington.





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