By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
When Wetumpka Tea Party President Becky Gerritson announced her candidacy for Congress most political insiders thought that the Tea Party and movement conservative groups would tend to align behind Gerritson’s candidacy against the more mainstream U.S. Congresswoman Martha Roby (R from Montgomery). Congresswoman Roby does apparently have some Tea Party support. On Monday, October 5 the Alabama Patriots released a statement endorsing Martha Roby’s reelection to the U.S. House of Representatives.
The Commander of the Alabama Patriots, Danny B. Joyner said in a statement, “We believe that it is important to send Martha Roby back to Congress to represent us. Our men and women in the Armed Forces deserve to have someone to fight for their health care, their rights and their dignity when they return from war and nobody has fought harder for our military veterans than Congressman Roby.”
Commander Joyner said, “From her fight to end corruption in the nation’s VA system to her visits to our soldiers serving in the Middle East, she has proven time and time again that she is a fighter for those who have sacrificed so much to fight for us.”
Joyner also emphasized Roby’s commitment to Constitutional rights as a reason to support her reelection: “When President Obama tried to trample on the Second Amendment in 2013, Martha Roby stood strong and publicly opposed any and all attempts by the Administration to pass new gun control laws. When Planned Parenthood was caught selling aborted baby’s body parts, Martha Roby stood up and said enough is enough. That is the kind of proven conservative leadership that we need to represent us.”
The groups says that it has previously endorsed: Dave Bratt, Jeff Sessions, Bradley Byrne and Gary Palmer and dozens of statewide and national candidates. They claim that more than 85 percent of the candidates they have endorsed have gone on to win their elections.
The move is shocking because Becky Gerritson is a founder and President of the Wetumpka Tea Party. Gerritson is one of the best known Tea Party conservatives because of her activism and because she was targeted by IRS employee and unofficial Obama campaign operative Lois Learner. Gerritson has testified before Congressional Committees about her IRS scandal ordeal.
Joyner is not without critics in the Alabama Tea Party movement.
Rainy Day Patriots and Alabama Legislative Watchdogs Director Ann Eubank told the ‘Alabama Political Reporter’ that, “Joyner suddenly showed up in the 2012 election cycle with his sign. He is a one man tea party who goes around the state having his picture made with politicians, and usually endorses the “establishment” candidate. Martha Roby does not have a very good voting record on the conservative issues that Alabamians are most concerned about. Her Heritage Action score is a poor 56%, and she is considered to be a part of Boehner’s coalition in D.C. No self-respecting tea party leader would ever support Martha Roby over Becky Gerritson, aka “Tea Party Becky.””
The Alabama Republican Party Primary is March 1 and qualifying for this and other offices has already begun.