Lawsuits filed to block TEA Party candidates
Tampa tea party activist Don Hensarling has filed seven lawsuits to block TEA Party candidates from appearing on the November ballot. One of the candidates he's targeting is Matthew Russell, a recent college graduate who lives in Tallahassee and filed at the last minute to run for the District 57 state House seat that represents South Tampa. Hensarling said he doesn't believe the TEA Party candidates are a genuine part of the grass roots tea party movement.
"I believe that they are trying to circumvent the election and trying to muddy the waters, you might say. They're not really qualified candidates," he said. Many of them have spotty voting histories, he said, live hundreds of miles away from the districts they're seeking to represent, and were formerly registered as Democrats. "I believe it's an organized effort to confuse and mislead conservative voters," Hensarling said.
Janet Zink, Times staff writer