The Tucson Citizen reports that the organizers of Arizona's four largest Tea Party organizations--the Tucson Tea Party, the Greater Phoenix Tea Party, Flagstaff Tea Party and Mohave County Tea Party--have said they will not be endorsing a candidate in the Arizona Senate primary race between Sen. John McCain, former Rep. J.D. Hayworth and Jim Deakin:
“The Tea Party is a non-partisan, grassroots movement that stands for limited government, free markets, and fiscal responsibility. Both McCain and Hayworth’s records during their many years in Washington leave much to be desired on these issues,” said Robert Mayer, co-founder of the Tucson Tea Party. “It is their job to hold themselves up to these values and fight for our votes.”
Other tea party organizers across the state agreed that the local organizations should not endorse so early if at all.
“It is not appropriate to make an endorsement in this race at the drop of a hat, as some other groups are doing,” said Kelly Townsend, organizer of the Greater Phoenix Tea Party. “The movement must stand for ideas, and do everything possible to provide information to people so that they can make the best personal decisions.”
Roger Boone, organizer of the Flagstaff Tea Party, added, “The Tea Party should not endorse individual politicians, as their future actions may reflect poorly on our organization. We encourage our members to endorse and vote for whomever they choose, but as a group we will not endorse officially.”
“We stand for principles and ideas, not for politicians or parties,” said Patrick Beck, organizer of the Mohave County Tea Party. “Our mission is to promote constitutional government and fiscal responsibility, and to inform people so that they can make their own decisions.”