Political Notes – Collins has tea party opposition in the Ninth District

[private]There are very few congressmen who steer farther to the right than U.S. Rep. Doug Collins (R-Gainesville), but there are still some tea partiers in the Ninth Congressional District who plan to oppose him in the GOP primary.

At least three of them — Roger Fitzpatrick, Bernie Fontaine, and Mike Scupin — declared their intentions last Thursday at a meeting of the Lanier Tea Party Patriots. As reported by B. J. Williams of WDUN-Gainesville:

The 75-year-old Fontaine is a retired Brigadier General with the Army National Guard, who challenged Collins two years ago. Fontaine told the audience he campaigned in the Ninth District in a pop-up camper pulled by a pick-up truck.

“A friend of mine kind of laughed at that and I said ‘you know what . . . that’s who I am. I’m not bought, I’m not paid for and I never will be,'” said Fontaine. “Why am I running . . . because I’d like one more time to do something for my country.”

Mike Scupin founded the Lanier Tea Party Patriots and said he never planned to offer himself up as a candidate for office, but he said he found himself becoming more and more unhappy with Collins’ performance in Washington, citing the Congressman’s recent vote in favor of the omnibus spending bill. Scupin said he talked to others about running for Congress, but found no takers.

“Do I want to do this? No. But I love my country. I’m tired — I’m sick and tired — of seeing it go to hell and doing nothing about it but sitting on my fanny and talking to people,” said Scupin. “Talking to people…doesn’t solve anything. Until you’re willing to get up and step out, this country’s not going to change.”

Fitzpatrick, a retired educator from White County, actually announced his candidacy last week, but he took the opportunity to speak to the Tea Party group about his campaign.

Fitzpatrick said his desire was to bring America’s focus back to the principals of the Constitution.

“I’m sad to say that some of those men, some of those women that we elected to a public trust, that we elected to be servants went to Washington and they decided that it would be best to serve their own interests rather than the interests of this nation,” said Fitzpatrick. “We’ve been heading in the wrong direction.”

Collins, a former legislator, was first elected to Congress in 2012 and has taken a hard right position on virtually every major issue.

However, he flubbed it with some tea partiers when he voted for the hated John Boehner of Ohio as House speaker in January 2015 (Boehner subsequently resigned under pressure in October).

John Daniel Purgason Jr. explained it in a Facebook posting:

He lines up and votes how he is told in a Republican House ruled by RINOs, in return he gets to sit on certain committees. Typical political cronyism, payola whatever you want to call it, everything that is wrong with Washington D.C. Oh yeah, forgot to say that I voted for him because I believed his campaign and that he was different. Disappointed in him and many other so called “Republicans.”

OTOH, Brown’s not running

Former legislator Jeff Brown decided he won’t run for Lynn Westmoreland’s Third Congressional District seat, sending out this statement:

After much deliberation and input by many, former State Representative Jeff Brown has decided that he will not seek the seat being vacated by Congressman Lynn Westmoreland. The estimated $400,000 needed to get sufficient name recognition by the May 24, 2016 primary, the likelihood of a primary runoff and possibly a general election and not being led to do this are several of many factors for his decision.

It still looks like a March 24 adjournment

Legislators adopted a revised session calendar Friday morning and the latest version still has them adjourning with the 40th day on March 24.

The individual session days are listed in HR 1114.

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Tags: Doug Collins , GOP primary , Jeff Brown , session calendar , tea party opposition , Third Congressional District