Tea party using member vs. member races to flex political muscle

March 18, 2012

By Paul Kane, The Washington Post

DeKALB, Ill. — The tea party movement is on the verge of devouring one of its own.

Freshman Rep. Adam Kinzinger, the young Air Force spy pilot who defeated a Democratic incumbent in suburban Chicago to become one of the fresh-faced shining stars of the Republican Party, is now under attack from the same conservative activists who propelled him to victory less than two years ago.

A redistricting process controlled by Democrats has thrown the 34-year-old Kinzinger against 10-term Rep. Don Manzullo in a fight that mirrors the larger Republican debate over what it means to be a conservative.

And less than two years after tea party activists fueled the energy behind the historic 63-seat pickup for Republicans in the House, this campaign has turned into a contest for this movement to flex its political muscle in helping determine what its most important values are, with some leading figures siding with the veteran insider because they view him as a more unwavering conservative.

To read more, visit:  http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2012/03/15/gIQA1z7JJS_story.html

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