Tea Party to fête candidates

by Walter Pierce

The candidates being supported at the fundraiser are Jared Bellard, William Theriot, Craig Spikes and Andy Naquin.

It appears the tea party movement will be a player in the upcoming elections for City-Parish Council.

An invitation obtained by The Independent asks supporters to attend a Sept. 8 fundraiser for four candidates seeking to retain and/or beat incumbents in the upcoming election. Although the invitation doesn't expressly identify the candidates as being backed by the Tea Party of Lafayette, it does ask that donations on behalf of the candidates be entrusted to "one of our leaders: Sandy Hindelang, Andrea Husband, Betty Johnson, Susan Lantrip, Ross Little Jr. and Mark Tolson." Hindelang is identified on the Tea Party of Lafayette's website as a member of the group's Health Care Issues Committee; Johnson is among the group's roughly 240 "friends" on Facebook.

The candidates being supported at the fundraiser are Jared Bellard and William Theriot, the incumbents in Districts 5 and 9, respectively; Craig Spikes, who is challenging incumbent Keith Patin in District 8; and Andy Naquin, who is seeking the District 6 seat against incumbent Sam Doré.

A fifth candidate - Joan Beduze, whose candidacy was announced briefly in The Daily Advertiser a couple of weeks ago - appears ready to challenge District 7's Don Bertrand. Although Beduze's campaign is evidently not being underwritten by the TPL, her Facebook page indicates links to (or "likes," in Facebook parlance) FreedomWorks, Sarah Palin and U.S. Reps. Jeff Landry, R-New Iberia, and Michele Bachmann, R-Minnesota, among many others, suggesting at least sympathies for the tea party movement.

Sept. 8, probably not coincidentally, is the final day for qualifying for the Oct. 22 election.