Minnick receives Tea Party endorsement, Ward blasts his record
Though he didn't ask for it, Democrat Congressman Walt Minnick received an endorsement from the Tea Party Express Thursday, a national symbol for the anti-big government movement.
Minnick was the only Democrat on the list released by the group. In the U.S. House of Representatives, he is joined in the endorsement by Republicans Tom McClintock of California, Tom Price of Georgia, Mike Pence of Indiana, Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, and Joe Wilson of South Carolina. According to reports, the Minnick camp is not particularly thrilled to be listed with the likes of Bachmann and Wilson, who pundits have called "lightning rods." A spokesman for Minnick's campaign said that though the congressman does not agree with all aspects of the organization's platform, he seeks to build a broad coalition of groups who represent various interests.
Another politician in Idaho, one of the men trying to unseat Minnick, was not happy with the endorsement. Republican Vaughn Ward, who is battling with state Rep. Raul Labrador for the right to face Minnick in the November general election, released a statement Thursday blasting Minnick's record.
This endorsement does not change the fact that Walt Minnick’s first vote in Congress was for Nancy Pelosi and her liberal agenda of higher taxes, more spending, and a more intrusive federal government that has done nothing to get Idaho families back to work. When Walt had the chance to step up to the plate for Idaho families, he voted against permanently ending the financial bailouts and voted for a permanent extension of the death tax. Walt Minnick and Nancy Pelosi’s tax and spend policies continue to cripple our economy.
We are proud of the Idaho endorsements we have received as our momentum continues to build. Our campaign began as a grassroots effort and is driven by the people. This is their seat and Kirsten and I are humbled by the thousands of people who have given so much to the campaign.
Labrador, who attended the local Tea Party rally in Boise Thursday, has not commented on the endorsement. Event organizers from Tea Party Boise Inc., in charge of Thursday's activities, are undecided if their organization will endorse candidates for the primary or general elections this year.