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Conservatives: It’s the Primaries Stupid

Conservatives who are frustrated with the direction of the Republican Party’s Capitol Hill leadership should take heart that the primary elections that could replace many of these big government establishment Republicans with limited-government constitutional conservatives are, in most states, barely a year away.

If you don’t like how your Senator and Congressman are saying they plan to vote on the Gang of Eight amnesty for illegal aliens bill -- or you don’t like their votes in favor of more government and more Sen. Mitch McConnellspending -- then the 2014 primary elections are your opportunity to bring change to Washington, DC.

There are 15 Republican-held Senate seats up in 2014, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

Of course every House seat is up, and it goes without saying that we think the House leadership team --  starting with Speaker John Boehner -- needs a good housecleaning.

Conservatives already scored one significant victory in the battle for control of the Senate when Georgia’s establishment Republican Senator Saxby Chambliss announced his retirement in the face of a potential conservative challenge.

Conservatives now have several good choices in the Georgia GOP primary, including principled limited-government constitutional conservative Congressmen Paul Broun and Phil Gingrey.

But this still leaves a number of Senate seats currently held by big government Republicans without conservative challengers.

At the top of the list of Republican Senators ripe for challenge has got to be South Carolina’s Lindsey Graham and Tennessee’s Lamar Alexander, followed by Maine’s Susan Collins, Texas’ John Cornyn and Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell – each of whom has let down conservatives when every Republican vote was desperately needed to defend conservative principles.

Additionally, there are five open Democratic seats (Montana, South Dakota, Iowa, West Virginia, and yes, Michigan), plus another open Republican seat (Nebraska) where solid limited-government constitutional conservative candidates should do well – if they run.

Just a few weeks ago (at the Virginia GOP convention), conservatives won half the Virginia House of Delegates seats they contested – defeating two notorious Republican tax raisers along the way – and we probably would have defeated more establishment Republicans had more limited-government constitutional conservatives filed and run.

Now is the time to start getting the facts out about the records of establishment Republicans who are up in 2014 – letting people know, for example, that Lamar Alexander votes with Obama’s position 62% of the time. And, reminding those who oppose getting America involved in another Middle East adventure that Lindsey Graham is the number one proponent of putting American boots on the ground in Syria.

We also need to start getting the buzz going about our rising limited-government constitutional conservative stars, like Justin Amash in Michigan, who are weighing getting into tough races.

Further, we need to begin to winnow the wheat from the chaff so that conservatives can coalesce behind one strong candidate to avoid being defeated in a divide-and-conquer campaign by the GOP establishment.

That means getting the conservative leaders, fundraisers and activists together NOW to start sharing ideas and exchanging information.

Just think what replacing half the Republicans who supported the debt ceiling deal or the fiscal cliff sell-out with principled limited-government constitutional conservatives would mean for the last two years of the Obama presidency.

The only time conservatives lose is when we don’t fight – and to get in the fight, conservative candidates have to file and then run as limited-government constitutional conservatives.

That means grassroots leaders – like you – need to start thinking NOW about running, or who you are going to encourage to run, in the 2014 Republican Primary elections.

We conservatives don’t have to bat 1000 to win – we just have to win enough seats to tip the balance in favor of conservative policies. What’s more, every limited-government constitutional conservative who runs helps move the GOP to the right, and even if they don’t win this time, they learn and hone the skills necessary to win in the future.

You are the leader you have been waiting for -- pick up the phone, convene the meeting and start the ball rolling TODAY to fill the 2014 Republican primary ballot with reliable, limited-government constitutional conservative candidates.

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