Tea Partiers Attempt GOP Takeover From the Inside

Activists fill local posts that set policy, choose candidates
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 16, 2010 11:54 AM CST
A Tea Party protest.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – If you thought tea partiers weren’t joiners, think again, as conservative activists across the country fill vacant local Republican Party positions in an effort to change the GOP from the inside. Precinct representatives have a hand in electing county leaders, who determine the platform and even which candidates to endorse. “That’s where it all starts,” a strategist tells the Los Angeles Times. “It’s from the ground up.”

“That's where the process of picking candidates begins. It's not from Michael Steele's office down,” he continues. “The party is over for the old guard.” Tea partiers have taken over many seats—even almost an entire Nevada county—that go unfilled due to apathy. And while they talk tough, some GOP leaders welcome them. If the conservative activists are inside the party, the reasoning goes, they’re less likely to split the vote come Election Day.

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