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A mixed night for the tea party

How did the tea party do Tuesday night?

Well, it may have elected a new member of Congress by defeating Rep. Parker Griffith (R-Ala.) in a primary.

Madison County Commissioner Mo Brooks had plenty of tea party support, and he shocked the political world by taking more than 50 percent of the vote and sending the party-switching incumbent home early.

Democrats will now have to evaluate how aggressively they want to pursue the race in a very conservative but historically Democratic district. Their nominee is political consultant Steve Raby, who has raised decent money for the race and scored a big primary win over attorney Taze Shepard.

The tea party didn’t fare as well elsewhere.

It wasn’t able to make much of a dent against the GOP favorites to face Reps. Travis Childers (D-Miss.) and Bobby Bright (D-Ala.). Establishment favorite and state Sen. Alan Nunnelee won outright in the primary to face Childers, while top NRCC recruit and Montgomery City Councilwoman Martha Roby was close behind, just missing avoiding a runoff.

The tea party did get a candidate in the runoff to face Roby – Rick Barber – but her 49-29 margin on Tuesday makes her a heavy favorite in the runoff July 13.

--Aaron Blake

By Aaron Blake  |  June 2, 2010; 8:29 AM ET
Categories:  2010 Election  
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