Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Florida candidate becomes first officeholder with Tea Party affiliation

Polk County Commissioner Randy Wilkinson may be the first official officeholder from the Tea Party. Wilkinson, running for Florida’s 12th District seat being vacated by Republican Rep. Adam Putnam, switched his party affiliation from Republican to Florida Tea Party last week. He is a county commissioner in Florida’s Polk County. “We’re excited,” said Fred O’Neal, founder of the Florida Tea Party. “Our first officeholder. We’re excited.” Of course, there are other self-identified Tea Party candidates across the country running as Republicans or independents, but Wilkinson appears to be the first elected official running on a Tea Party ticket affiliation. Wilkinson will face the Republican and Democrat candidates for the seat in November. According to a local Florida paper, Wilkinson was elected to the Polk County Commission as a Republican. But on campaign documents filed to run for Congress, he said he is now a member of the Florida Tea Party and is not registered with any other party...more

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