Members of Congress all across the country have them, so why not Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D)? I’m talking about tea party challengers here.
Two years ago, Norton faced a Republican anti-abortion extremist but this year it appears she will not have GOP competition. She may, however, have a Libertarian Party opponent should Bruce Majors collect enough signatures to make the ballot.
Majors, who picked up nominating petitions Friday, earned a measure of notoriety in 2010, when he shared a D.C. visitors guide with tea party activists attending a Glenn Beck-hosted rally here.
Among the advice therein: “If you are on the subway stay on the Red line between Union Station and Shady Grove, Maryland. If you are on the Blue or Orange line do not go past Eastern Market (Capitol Hill) toward the Potomac Avenue stop and beyond; stay in NW DC and points in Virginia. Do not use the Green line or the Yellow line. These rules are even more important at night.”
Needless to say, many District residents disagreed with his suggestions that vast swaths of the city are too dangerous to roam.
The guide, he told the Daily Beast, was intended for “people from Shreveport, Louisiana, who are in town for 36 hours.” At the time, he embraced tea party causes and said his aspiration was to be “the gay, slightly more libertarian Ann Coulter.”
Today, Majors is aspiring to make a statement about District government by seeking to unseat Norton, now in her 11th term.
“There’s so much money [in the District government] it just breeds corruption,” he said. “I think really the only solution to that is to have really a clean sweep.” He’s also supporting term limits and more generally, more responsible spending.
Now, you might note, Majors is talking about issues within the District government, not Congress. So why run for Congress and not, say, D.C. Council?
“We have a city’s that’s essentially a one-party state, and [Norton] is part of that one party,” he said. “She is part of the party that overlooks its own corrupt members. She is part of the system that turns a blind eye” toward official corruption.
Majors also has another motive: Get enough votes to earn major-party status for the Libertarian Party. If he can get on the ballot and win 7,500 votes, that means the Libertarians can hold their own primary in 2014. And their candidates can collect a few dozen nominating signatures to get on the ballot rather than the 3,000 Majors now has to collect.
Majors, 53, is a real estate agent who had lived in D.C. for 26 of the past 32 years. He currently lives in the West End. He’s supporting the Libertarian Party presidential candidate, former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson.
But the author of what was billed as the “Tea Party Guide to D.C.” isn’t running from his tea party associations even as the moniker has fallen further from the political mainstream.
“They’re pretty 50/50 between social conservatives and socially liberal libertarian people,” he said, counting himself in the latter category and adding his aim has long been to “keep them focused on fiscal issues and not going off into theocratic issues.”
His thoughts on the current state of the tea party? “It’s almost saying like you’re happy with the Democrats or perfectly happy with the Republicans,” he added. “It’s a huge stew of people.”