Jamie Radtke, a tea party activist preparing to run for Senate in Virginia, was an invited guest at Thursday’s inaugural meeting of the Senate Tea Party Caucus, and she said afterward that she intends to draw on national support in a GOP primary contest that pits her against former Sen. George Allen.
Radtke is not the only Virginia Republican gearing up for the Senate primary and looking to challenge Allen from the right. But she was the only one to join GOP Sens. Jim DeMint (S.C.), Mike Lee (Utah) and Rand Paul (Ky.) this week for the launch of the Senate Tea Party Caucus.
Radtke, among the designated speakers at the even, delivered a campaign-style address to about 100 activists who attended and said afterward that she expects the Senate primary to be competitive.
“I would expect it to be competitive because Sen. Allen’s going to have the ability to raise money; he was the chairman of the [National Republican Senatorial Committee]. But I firmly believe that we’ll make it very competitive in Virginia, especially with being able to nationalize the race and engage the tea party movement across the country, hopefully,” Radtke, the president of the Richmond Tea Party, said in a brief interview after the meeting concluded.
Radtke added that Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) is in trouble because of his support for President Barack Obama’s agenda. Radtke disputed any characterization of Webb as a moderate Democrat, saying he has been a reliable vote for Democrats.
“I think the only one that has a perception of [Webb] being a moderate is Jim Webb. I don’t think there’s anyone else that sees him as a moderate or an independent,” Radtke said. “He has voted for everything that’s come out of Harry Reid-Pelosi-Obama machine.”
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.