Some Criticize Tea Party Supporting Candidates Of Municipal Elections

Tuesday, February 15th 2011, 7:34 pm
By: News 9

Gan Matthews, News 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- The grass-roots movement known as the Tea Party made quite a splash in 2010, but now the Oklahoma version is setting its sights on municipal elections-- starting with Oklahoma City, and some think that's a worrisome move.

Tea party rallies build support for their candidates at the state and congressional levels. Now the Sooner Tea Party has endorsed candidates in the upcoming Oklahoma City Council elections.

"They stand for limited government, lower taxes, and for transparency and accountability," said Al Gerhart, Sooner Tea Party.

The Sooner Tea Party has endorsed Adrian Van Manen over incumbent Meg Salyer in the Ward 6 race. Salyer said Van Manen and his supporters endanger the nonpartisan nature of the election.

"They are injecting a political tone into municipal races that I don't believe has a place there," Salyer said.

Van Manen said while he's not a tea party member, he welcomes the endorsement.

"Everybody stands on an issue on either one side or another of an issue. There can't be a non-partisan decision," Van Manen said.

The Sooner Tea Party has also endorsed Cliff Hearron over incumbent Patrick Ryan in Ward 8, and endorsed incumbent Brian Walters in Ward 5.

The Council primary election will be held March 1 with runoff elections on April 5 if needed.