FreedomWorks will endorse Linda McMahon this week, the Washington Post reports. But McMahon is keeping her distance.
Led by former Rep. Dick Armey, the nonprofit has gained national attention for its work in behalf of tea parties. Still, it’s a Washington-based outfit – not something McMahon, who’s running as an outsider, wants to embrace.
Accordingly, Ed Patru, McMahon’s spokesman, in an e-mail to Battle ’10 says, “Linda hasn’t sought outside endorsements or financial assistance from national organizations, and there are no plans to do so. She’s focused on continuing her dialogue with the voters of Connecticut. FreedomWorks is a grassroots organization with thousands of members in our state and we are very encouraged by and welcoming of support from Connecticut voters, whether they identify with the Democratic Party, the Republican Party, the Tea Party or no organized political party at all.”
The endorsement is significant because McMahon is gaining support among tea partiers, who were cool to her in the Republican primary. Recently, conservative activists Tom Scott and Joe Markley converted to the cause.
But one prominent tea partier, Bob MacGuffie, founder of Right Principles, remains aloof. He tells Battle ’10: “The grassroots here in the state are pretty much split up on that [race]. We got into this based on principle. We went out and tried to get nominated principled candidates and in many cases in the federal races, we didn’t get our preferred candidates nominated. And people are reacting in different ways to that. Most of us have continued to protest the incumbents. . . . We’re not just going to support everybody the Republican party puts out.”
Still, FreedomWorks’s backing, the Hartford Courant’s Rick Green suspects, “could play a significant role in a close election here.”