Tea Party favorite Rand Paul has served notice as the first tea party candidate to be declared the winner in the 2010 midterm elections that grass-roots conservatives' strength is for real and must be reckoned with.
Just before 7 p.m. this evening, Paul was declared the winner with a 55 percent to 45 percent lead over Democrat Jack Conway, with 10 percent of the vote counted. FreedomWorks chairman and former House Majority Leader Dick Armey tells Newsmax it is a "great sign" for Election Night that the Rand race was called so early.
"Conservatives nationwide should know that in Sen. Paul they have a champion for freedom," Armey says.
So encouraged was Armey by the quick call for Paul that he ventured a prediction: "I've come to really believe Republicans will gain the Senate unless they have any races that go into recount. And I think the Harry Reid race [against Sharron Angle in Nevada] is the most likely race to go to recount. Democrats almost always win recounts," Armey tells Newsmax.
Ironically, Paul's victory came in an election that was characterized largely by Democratic efforts to paint Paul as a wild-eyed extremist. Yet it was an over-the-top ad by Conway, which called Paul's faith into question, that appeared to solidify sentiment on Paul's behalf.
“Congratulations to Senator-elect Rand Paul for winning the Kentucky Senate race in the face of ruthless attacks from his opponent," Armey said. "But Rand stuck to the principles that guided his campaign and the people of Kentucky responded by voting him as their next senator."
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