Tea Party Candidate Enters Hillsborough County, FL Race
The Hillsborough County, Florida Republican party will feature a showdown tonight as an establishment party figure faces a tea party opponent in a vote for the party's new chairman. Chris Shalosky, the tea party-supported candidate, entered the race following a tea party meeting on Sunday.
"I want to be a bridge-builder and make sure we take care of all organizations that are interested in getting conservative Republicans elected," Shalosky told The Tampa Tribune
Shalosky, a retired Army colonel, has been active in Florida tea party organizations. His primary opponent will be current vice-chairman Art Wood, who has defended his own allegiance to tea party values, telling The Tampa Tribune "I might have been active in the tea party if I hadn't decided to get active in the Republican Party before the tea party existed."
The election in Hillsborough County is the latest in a series of battles for control of county and state Republican parties, where tea party leaders and activists have sought, often successfully, to expand their representation in Republican Party leadership.