Editor’s Note – The writer below is right on the money in one sense; there seems to be a game of chance being played out here in the state of Florida, with no one really being sure just how much influence the tea party movement will have in the upcoming primary election.
The old guard, for the most part, is sticking to the tried and true methods that got them where they are today. At the same time, many are casting a leery eye at the tea party movement, seeing it as a potential threat to their ambition. We see a good example of this established strategy in district 5, where the attacks on the ‘outsider’, Sager, are beginning to surface through the usual backdoor channels.
Another good example of this strategy is playing out here in district 8, where certain candidates are placing little value on candidate forums and other events that promote interaction with the people, and are instead placing the vast majority of their effort on the tradional media sources to get their message out.
What is established is that when Marco Rubio had the full support of the tea party movement behind him, he was untouchable. Now that this support is seriously wavering, he is struggling to stay even in the polls.
Also, once the tea party support starting drifting toward Rick Scott, Bill McCollum started experiencing the same phenomena.
Oh, what an interesting time we find ourselves in!
Sager, Nugent Battle In House District 5 GOP Primary
By Bill Thompson
The Republican primary for Florida’s 5th Congressional District might offer local voters the best front-row opportunity to juxtapose the strength of the Tea Party set with that of the establishment it seeks to upset.
Jason Sager, an audio-visual engineer from Brooksville and proud Tea Party advocate, is taking on Hernando County Sheriff Rich Nugent, who has been endorsed by outgoing incumbent GOP Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite.
Sager, 36, offers himself as a “very conservative guy” and strict – even radical – constitutionalist who reveres the Founding Fathers.
He also is an organizer of Tea Party events and of the local chapter of the Hernando 912 project, an offshoot of Fox News host Glenn Beck’s national network of political activists. Sager recently appeared on Beck’s show.
Sager said in an interview that he was motivated to run for Congress after hearing Brown-Waite speak at his group’s event last October.
“She said the Constitution was a ‘living document.’ I was beside myself and couldn’t believe what I had just heard,” Sager recalled. Sager counters that the country’s founding charter is a set-in-stone guide for the federal government.
Just moments after the April 30 noon deadline to qualify for congressional races, the incumbent issued a joint statement with Nugent, saying she would not run for re-election and would be endorsing the sheriff. Nugent simultaneously announced his hitherto unknown campaign.
“I think what Ms. Brown-Waite did is a prime example of what’s wrong with politics today,” Sager said. “Withholding information from the public like that is not being truly faithful to the oath of office.”
In sharp contrast to Sager’s positioning himself as the consummate outsider, however, Nugent is touting his many years in public service as a reason for voters to send him to Washington.
Nugent, 59, joined the Illinois Air National Guard in 1969 and in addition to that service, has spent 37 years in law enforcement – the last 26 of those in Hernando County, where he has been sheriff since 2000.
Nugent said he wants to go to Congress because it lacks “clear thinkers with strong common sense and very strong conservative values.” He believes serving as an elected executive running a sizeable government agency has given him experience in management and budgeting.
Nugent said, if elected, he would call for a moratorium on new federal spending, and support a constitutional amendment for a balanced federal budget.
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