Tea party power to be tested as candidates qualify

By Aaron Gould Sheinin   The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Tea party activists have promised…

Georgia (May 25, 2012) — By Aaron Gould Sheinin


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The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Tea party activists have promised for months to mount challenges to incumbent lawmakers they see as squishy on conservative issues and especially on calls for ethics reform. Beginning Wednesday, Georgians will find out whether those promises are fulfilled. 

Qualifying for all 236 seats in the General Assembly, a handful of state Supreme Court and Public Service Commission slots, all 14 U.S. House seats and thousands of local offices opens at 9 Wednesday morning and ends at noon Friday. Who will sign on the line that is dotted, pay their money down and mount a campaign?    

Kerwin Swint, a political scientist at Kennesaw State University and a former GOP consultant, said this week represents a test for the tea party.

"It's one thing to talk about change and advocate change, but at the end of the day results matter," Swint said. "If the tea party can effectively challenge candidates, they're going to find it a lot easier to meet their goals." 


A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu