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Tea party flexes muscles in Charlie Crist-Marco Rubio race

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From the Orlando Sentinel: Pamela Dahl and her fellow tea-party members in this megaretirement community are determined to evaluate GOP candidates for U.S. SenateGov. Charlie Crist and former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio – in person.

But it was Rubio, and not Crist, who became the focus of attention about tea-party support during a televised debate last week between the candidates. Rubio, who leads Crist by a wide margin in opinion polls, has been labeled in media outlets as the potential first tea-party senator.

The Tri-County Tea Party, which is made up of tea-party members from Lake, Sumter and Marion counties, was propelled into the spotlight during the Fox News Sunday candidate faceoff. Dahl and other area tea-party activists flooded Fox News with calls and e-mails urging the cable-news channel to press Rubio as to why he hasn’t appeared before tea parties across the state.

“We’ve been trying to call him [Rubio] to be vetted, but he did not respond to any of our calls. That was the problem we were having,” said Villages resident Dahl, president of the Tri-Country Tea Party. “Because we had not heard from him, we sent out e-mails to Fox.” Continue reading here.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.

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