The Myrtle Beach Tea Party hosted a debate for Congressional District One candidates with six of them showing up to try to distinguish themselves from the crowded field of 13. It was a take-turn question and answer session, with some of the questions being called out from the audience of about 300 people. The topics were national policy: from immigration to bank bail-outs.
Luke Towery, the Myrtle Beach Tea Party spokesman, says that all 13 candidates were asked to appear, no matter the party:
Our objective is to help restore our Constitutional republic to the core principles envisioned by our founding fathers. And along that line, having efforts like this where the general public get to come out and hear the candidates, talk with them face-to-face helps to further that cause. I can’t tell you, as I was meeting people as they were leaving tonight, how many people said, “I would have never known who these candidates were if you didn’t have these types of events.”
The Myrtle Beach group has been holding a series of such debates and events. A run-off is expected in this race. Thursday night, the Myrtle Beach group took a straw poll among its almost 200 participants — to gauge who was their favorite candidate for the First Congressional District.
The outcome foreshadows what is sure to be a runoff in the primary itself. Out of the 12 candidates for the seat, the top three vote-getters were 18.7 percent for Larry Kobrovsky (R), 15.6 percent for Mark Lutz (R) and 12.4 percent for Clark Parker (R).
Towery says the depth of this field of candidates has made it important for his group to try focus on this particular race. He says this was the first time that Libertarian Keith Blandford appeared and that he “performed quite well,” says Towery. Because he is a Libertarian does not mean he mirrors the Tea Party values, says Towery:
I have to admit that it was the Republican Party shifting toward big government that helped fuel the Tea Party movement in the beginning. But alot of Republicans, and most of those who spoke tonight have in mind that they need to be responsible to “we the people.”
The Tea Parties statewide — 27 of them to date that are acknowledged by each other–are beginning to taking different tacts in their endorsements for governor.
This week, the Boiling Springs Tea Party, one of the most active in the state, endorsed Henry McMaster. Last night, the Myrtle Beach Tea party told SCRN that they voted last week to endorse Lexington Rep. Nikki Haley for governor. Towery says tonight’s Palin endorsement of Haley only reinforces their support.
Here are some highlights.
Stovall Witte, top staffer for the retiring First District Congressman Henry Brown:
(Witte MP3 :26)
Carrol Campbell says he is running on more than just his name:
(Campbell MP3 :16)
Clark Parker, says he has the home field advantage.
(Parker MPc :29)
Larry Kobrowski is a Constitutional attorney.
(Kobrovski MP3 :18)
Republican Mark Lutz says he has a specific plan:
(Lutz MP3 :18)
Libertarian Keith Blandford appeared before the Tea Party for the first time:
(Blandford MP3 :22)
The Tea Party’s Towery says just because he is a Libertarian does not mean he mirrors his groups values:
(Towery on Tea Party MP3 :21)