Republican candidates in the Big First made the rounds to most of the Tea Party events in the district last week, but in Emporia there seemed to be a preferred candidate – Tim Huelskamp.
Out of the 1st district candidates that showed up to the Emporia event (Rob Wasinger, Marck Cobb and Sue Boldra are the ones we’re aware of) only Huelskamp was allowed to speak. This stands in contrast to other events where all the other candidates were given stage time. Several people there also said event organizers were explicitly advocating for Huelskamp, and taking swipes at Jim Barnett – which is interesting because Barnett is from Emporia.
Sources say that one of the event organizers was particularly direct with Boldra, offering a fairly blunt, and insulting, assessment of her and her candidacy.
Granted, Tea Party events are not open mike nights. They can invite whoever they please, and Huelskamp was formally invited. However, again, this stands in contrast to other Tea Party events that try hard not to be candidate rallies.