The mission of the First Coast Tea Party’s is to promote the principles of our Founding Fathers — individual liberty and responsibility, limited government, and moral leadership.
 
Our primary responsibility is to educate our membership about the issues that impact our mission.  We also encourage our members to activate their citizenship and educate themselves about the candidates who are running for office because they are the ones who will help us achieve our mission.
 
The First Coast Tea Party was formed in 2009 to protest the federal government's runaway debt, oppressive taxation, and attacks upon liberty that have so threatened this great nation.  To that end, we succeeded in changing the course of history by ousting incumbents who did not adhere to their Constitutional restraints and fiscal obligations, and we helped defeat candidates who displayed progressive, liberal, or socialist political philosophies. This resulted in the unseating of the Pelosi House of Representatives, the election of Marco Rubio to the Senate, and Rick Scott as the Governor of Florida.  We have only just begun to impact the political landscape of our nation. We believe that the Tea Party must play a major role in shaping the election of our next President, the Senate seat currently held by Bill Nelson, and several Congressional seats as well.
 
Locally, The First Coast Tea Party takes a strong interest in all elections to promote candidates to positions of authority who believe as we do in small government and  fiscal responsibility. We have followed the race for Mayor of Jacksonville with intense scrutiny and vetted the candidates through our process – A Search for Leaders with “Vision, Values and Valor”.  This process consisted of:
 

  • In-depth questionnaires
  • Personal video taped interviews
  • Internal and external research
  • Public forums
  • Straw votes
  • Membership polling
  • Leadership Council review

You can find the questionnaires, videos and straw votes on our member website at:  www.fctpcommunity.org
 
We applaud all who seek positions of public service and we are thankful that so many have done so during a critical time in Jacksonville's history.   We especially thank the Mayoral candidates who participated in our process – Mike Hogan and Rick Mullaney, (both Republicans) and Warren Lee, (Democrat).   One Republican, Audrey Moran, and one Democrat, Alvin Brown, chose not to participate in The First Coast Tea Party’s process. 
 
We believe that it is important that the voices of the people – sometimes referred to as the silent majority – are heard.  The Tea Party Movement has provided that opportunity, and we do not take this responsibility lightly.  Our Leadership Council has met and dissected the information that we have gathered from our search for leaders with Vision, Values and Valor, and we have arrived at the following conclusion.
 
REGARDING THE CITY COUNCIL ENDORSEMENTS
 
On September 28, 2010, the Jacksonville City Council voted once again to raise our property taxes.  More than 200 people from the Tea Party Movement showed up to beg them not to raise our taxes.  They did not listen to us.  Instead, they voted to pass into law a huge tax burden for the citizens of Duval County.  At the conclusion of that vote, many council members were seen congratulating themselves with high fives, as the people of Duval County watched in stunned amazement. 
 
However, a handful of council members did not vote to raise the mileage rate which would have increased our property taxes. Instead, they did everything within their power to stop the passage of this oppressive piece of legislation, but in the end, they were defeated.  We stand with those who stood with us and the following candidates are receiving our endorsement:
 
Clay Yarborough – District 1
Bill Bishop – District 2
Richard Clark – District 3
Don Redman – District 4 – unopposed
E. Denise Lee – District 8 - unopposed
John Crescimbeni – At Large, District 2

 

 

Those who voted for the tax increase did NOT stand with us and they are NOT receiving our endorsement. They are..........
 
Michael Corrigan – running for Duval County Tax Collector                               Jack Webb – District 6
Johnny Gaffney – District 7 - unopposed
Warren Jones – District 9 – unopposed
R. Brown – District 10 - unopposed
Stephen Joost – At Large District 3 – unopposed
 
It is unfortunate that so many are running unopposed. 
 
There are many other great candidates running for office.  The First Coast Tea Party encourages every citizen of Jacksonville to review the research provided on our website www.fctpcommunity.org to make a well-informed decision and find better representation from their opponents where possible. A new team from The First Coast Tea Party has accepted the challenge to hold the new city council accountable as we move forward.   We will introduce the new city council members to our team as soon as they are sworn in to office.   
 
MAYORAL ENDORSEMENT
 
Elitism has played a major role in politics – at the Federal, State and Local levels.  Our economy has crashed due to intended and unintended mismanagement and corruption and many citizens are aware of the stark realities that we must now face.  The voters are openly questioning the intentions and challenging the integrity of condescending elites, and they believe it is time for the people to reclaim the power that was established for them by our founding fathers.  Now is the time for us to embark on a new era of power, prestige, and productivity for all citizens rather than a handful of elected and appointed officials who see themselves as an entitled ruling class.
 
The men and women who run for public office are usually evaluated on their oratory skills rather than on the basis of their character and expertise.  We believe character counts and our membership based our endorsement of this candidate on the following:
 
  • His alignment with the values of the Tea Party Movement
  • His willingness and ability to deal with Pension issues
  • His experience in labor negotiations
  • His work experience in both the private and government sectors
  • His firm understanding of local politics – the good, the bad and the ugly
  • His willingness to seek the input of citizens on most issues
  • His transparency throughout every aspect of our vetting process including financial disclosure
  • His track record of personally answering every e-mail from his constituents
  • His humility. He has a servant’s heart
  • His promise not to raise taxes on all for the benefit of some
  • His record as a leader, making one of the city’s most active offices more efficient, effective, and responsive to the citizens that it serves.
  • His message has been consistent and principled.
  • His demeanor reflects the courage of his convictions
  • His family’s roots are deeply planted in Jacksonville, and his love and passion for our great city strongly resonates with him

Our endorsement for Mayor of Jacksonville goes to Mike Hogan and we encourage our membership and those outside the tea party movement to vote for Mike Hogan on March 22.
 
We now encourage our members to Get Out the Vote for Mike and all of the candidates that we have endorsed.  Find a candidate you want to work with on this list and support their campaign in any way that you can.  Volunteer; send them a donation ; put a sign in your yard; host an event for them in your home and tell your friends and neighbors to vote for these exceptional people.  You will find contact information on these candidates at www.fctpcommunity.org.
 
Finally, we understand that this announcement may trigger a wave of personal and political attacks. We stand by our candidates and we urge the voters not to be swayed by this vitriol, and remember that the truth has no agenda.
 
Hank Madden
Connie Turner
Billie Tucker
Carole McManus
Murray Goff
Lynne Holicky
 Michael Jackson
Morgan King
LeAnne King
Gayla Reed
Andy Sanfilippo
Randy Tucker
Patsy Underwood
John Daley
Debbie Gonzales
Lori LoSchiavo
Pat McBride

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Comment by Rhonda Herndon on March 3, 2011 at 12:05pm
Thank you to the Leadership Council for the time, thought, and effort put into these decisions.  I know the task was neither easy nor taken lightly and you cannot please all the people all the time.  While I believe every voter should perform their own due diligence and make educated choices according to his/her own conscience, I sincerely appreciate the information provided here!  Thank you, again!!
Comment by ALLEN R. WILLIS on March 3, 2011 at 7:24am
I know the mayoral candidates are a pretty poor group to choose from. But the tea party supporting Mike Hogan the same candidate as the big unions support. Where did we take the left turn ?
Comment by tamara stephenson on March 3, 2011 at 6:58am
I thought the Tea Party did a great job with the questionnaires, and I am glad they were posted here for all to see.  I also welcomed the members' comments via their blogs re:  the candidates, as well.  However, I still believe in the original mission statement of FCTP that it will not endorse candidates.  Therefore, as always,  I will be voting my conscience and not necessarily with the Leadership Council's endorsements.  In order to avoid blowback, I will keep my votes to myself.

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First Coast Tea Party
1205 Salt Creek Island Dr
Ponte Vedra, FL 32082
904-392-7475

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