The fallout from a rather heated meeting in Pinehurst between local Tea Party leaders and Congresswoman Renee Ellmers has local activists ready to organize a district-wide revolt against Ellmers in the upcoming GOP primary.
I talked to one Tea Party source familiar with today’s private powwow:
“She was combative. She was getting in people’s faces and telling them they don’t have a clue, and that they needed to get one. She was telling them they needed to stop complaining and read some bills. Our people in that room likely have spent more time reading legislation than Renee has! We got fooled in 2010. She’s not a Tea Partier. Renee Ellmers is a creature of the Washington establishment. We made a mistake in 2010 that we really need to fix. A lot of people have been bouncing this idea around for some time. The meeting today gave us what we needed to act on it.”
This Tea Party source said there will be urgent discussions among Tea Party leaders throughout the Second Congressional District. The agenda will likely center on who to endorse and campaign for in the upcoming May primary. Ellmers has three primary opponents — Clem Munno of Aberdeen, Sonya Holmes of Harnett County, and Richard Speer of Fayetteville. Speer, who has been working hard in Moore County lately and spending a lot of time with Tea Partiers, is likely the leading contender for Tea Party support in May — according to my source. (Moore County has one of the largest pockets of GOP voters in the new Second District.)
What happens if Ellmers makes it out of the May primary as the GOP nominee? According to my Tea Party source:
“A lot of our people are saying that if she is the nominee, they’ll either not vote in that race or they’ll consider other options.”