A few weeks ago the South Mississippi Tea Party called an executive board meeting which resulted in the group withdrawing their endorsement of Ron Vincent in the 4th Congressional District Republican primary.
The story initially had very little relevance or flare to it given that it involved an “also ran” candidate with absolutely no chance of winning.
But as I said on Supertalk’s Paul Gallo Show Monday morning, such a reversal is uncharacteristic of the Tea Party leadership in Mississippi.
No details of why the endorsement was withdrawn had been made available… until now.
Sources have confirmed to Y’all Politics that it was actions taken on behalf of Vincent which led to the withdrawn endorsement.
Vincent reportedly spoke with representatives of two other challengers also in the 4th District GOP primary – Gene Taylor and Tom Carter – about their candidacies and tying his exit from the race to a financial quid pro quo from at least one.
According to sources, Vincent offered to withdraw from the race and endorse Carter if the Carter campaign would pay him $27,000 to help recoup funds he spent running against incumbent Congressman Steven Palazzo. Carter declined.
Vincent then changed the offer to become a consultant on Carter’s campaign for $10,000. Carter declined again.
Sources tell YP that Vincent made no bones about his lack of desire to serve or be in Washington D.C. His point in running was merely so as not to give the incumbent (Palazzo) a “free pass” because of some personal resentment.
Vincent, if you will recall, has sought the 4th District seat before. He and the Hattiesburg Tea Party group also supported failed candidate Joe Tegerdine who Palazzo defeated in the 2010 Republican primary. Tegerdine went on to endorse then-Democrat Congressman Gene Taylor over Palazzo. Many feared Vincent was positioning himself to do the same.
Vincent reportedly recently discussed his affection for Taylor which signaled trouble within the coast Tea Party ranks given their disdain for Taylor.
Such questionable judgment and posturing caused the South Mississippi Tea Party to withdraw their endorsement of Vincent, choosing instead not to endorse any candidate for the 4th District seat.
Carter, a political newcomer, should be commended for not accepting Vincent’s proposal, and the South Mississippi Tea Party should get a few props of their own for making a tough change based on new facts. It’s not easy admitting you’ve made a mistake, but both Carter and the SMTP acted in the best interest of their conscience and their supporters.