Tea party lawmakers are being targeted for elimination by their own party, as old-guard Republicans use the Census-mandated redistricting process to erase seats won by last year’s upstarts, the National Journal
House freshmen from several GOP-majority states are in danger of
losing out in a political realignment that rewards more connected veteran representatives. It may be cold comfort to tea partyers that the hostile redistricting process proves their point: They really don’t belong to the political establishment.
“They did not have ties with incumbents and weren’t afforded a seat at the table,” said political journalist Ed Feigenbaum.
Rep. Jeffrey Landry, a tea party-backed winner last November in Louisiana, saw his seat vaporized under redistricting. Louisiana’s GOP power brokers also scattered Landry’s base of support across multiple congressional districts so that four-term Rep. Charles Boutsany can survive any potential 2012 primary challenge from Landry.
Louisiana has to give up one congressional seat because of sluggish population growth over the ten-year period counted by the latest Census. But even in faster-growing states that will hold all their seats, or gain seats, Republicans are eating their young and moving to protect well-connected incumbents over tea partyers.
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