News / USA

US Holds Election Primaries, Tea Party Gains Ground

Conservative candidates favored by the Tea Party have gathered more ground in some of the last primary elections before November's Congressional elections.

Supporters of Delaware Republican Christine O'Donnell reprised and adapted the 'Yes, We Can' rallying cry of Democratic President Barack Obama to celebrate her victory in the small eastern state, Delaware, Tuesday night.

O'Donnell started her victory speech by thanking several groups associated with the grassroots, strongly religious and socially conservative Tea Party movement.

"The America we are fighting for is worth restoring," said O'Donnell.  "I specifically want to thank the 9/12 Patriots for laying the foundation and stirring things up in Delaware, the Founders Values group, and all of the Delaware Tea Party groups."

She also thanked former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, who has supported several victorious Tea Party primary candidates against opponents with much more political experience.

O'Donnell defeated nine-term Republican moderate Congressman Mike Castle.

Her victory also came despite phone messages sent to voters by Delaware's Republican party, in the final hours of campaigning, accusing her of spending campaign contributions on her own expenses. O'Donnell's campaign denied the charges.

Democratic party commentators applauded her victory, saying it would give her Democratic opponent Chris Coons a better chance of winning the Delaware Senate seat vacated by Vice President Joe Biden.  They theorize that O'Donnell's conservative position will fail to attract voters.  They say a Coons victory would give Democrats a better chance of retaining control of the Senate in the November 2nd election.

In another Tea Party Republican primary victory, real estate developer Carl Paladino defeated former Congressman Rick Lazio, to face Democrat Andrew Cuomo to become governor of New York.

During the campaign, Paladino said he would like to turn some of New York's prisons into dormitories for welfare recipients.  He said, under his plan, they would get employment training and lessons in what he called "personal hygiene."

Primaries took place in seven states and the nation's capital, Washington, D.C., Tuesday.  

On November 2, all 435 seats in the House of Representatives, currently dominated by Democrats, will be up for grab, as well as 37 seats in the Senate, the position of governor in 37 states and municipalities across the country.

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