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Tea Party Candidate Jamie Radtke Hopes to Beat George Allen in Virginia

4 years ago
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Former Sen. George Allen is hoping to win back his Senate seat in Virginia next year, and with Democratic Sen. Jim Webb deciding not to seek re-election, Republicans have a good chance of reclaiming it.

But Allen's biggest obstacle might be getting past Jamie Radtke -- a conservative mom who holds a master's degree in public policy, has worked on Capitol Hill, and has become a popular tea party leader in Virginia.

Radtke (who tells me she once worked for Allen as a receptionist), has already raised more than $100,000 and clearly hopes to frame the election as a choice between an establishment insider versus a grassroots conservative. (In a recent interview with me, Allen pushed back hard against the notion he was "establishment").

"We need to show that we're a viable candidate," Radtke concedes, adding that the public has made it clear "they're not wanting to look backward -- that they're not wanting to do business as usual ... they want a new generation of leadership."

But while the insider/outsider frame is likely vital to her success, Radtke is also focusing on some of Allen's past votes. When asked, she specifically cites Allen's earmarks, his vote against Fannie and Freddie reform, and his support of Medicare Part D, "which is the largest expansion of the health care system since Obamacare."

Aside from the normal challenges facing a grassroots campaign against a popular former governor and senator, the other problem Radtke may have is that it is very possible several conservative alternatives to Allen might run, splitting the outsider vote, and helping assure Allen of a victory.

For now, at least, Radtke is focusing her campaign on Allen.

"George Allen was a good governor," she tells me, "but he's been a politician for three decades -- and I think that Virginians want something new."

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I was a Republican and voted for Allen in all his elections; but, after getting "downsized" and seeing how the GOP cares about people out of work, I am not happy with them and the teaparty cares even less.

February 25 2011 at 9:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to charger383's comment

Respectfully, May I guess that you think government creates jobs which is a myth, which has been indoctrinated into the belief system of most democrats.
The republicans are trying to create a climate for revitalizing the economy by getting government out of the way and allowing the free market system to create wealth which will result in restoration of a worker shortage and a need for workers.

February 26 2011 at 7:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I might vote for or help her beat Allen as long as after the primary that she promises to not split the vote or run as an Independent if Allen wins.

I can't support a Democrat given the current environment.

February 25 2011 at 4:06 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

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