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Tea Party event draws a crowd
Baxley starting
Ken Baxley addresses the crowd at the start of the Tea Party. - photo by Photo by Rick Lott

Even without power for the public address system, the speakers at Monday night’s Tea Party called for a return of power to the people.

“Basically we have to get back to the foundation this country was founded on,” Effingham County Republican Party Chairman Mickey Kicklighter said to the crowd  at McCall Road and Highway 21 near Lovett’s Tradin’ Post. “That is, that the power of the government is derived from the people, not the other way around.”

Kicklighter said the group that has reminded the people what those founding principles were wasn’t the Democrats or the Republicans, but the Tea Party.

“We are in a fight for the soul of this country,” he said, quoting Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, “and the only way to win that fight is to get back to the grass roots and listen to the people and let the people tell the government how this country ought to be run.”

Congressional hopefuls Ray McKinney, Carl Smith and Jeanne Seaver addressed the crowd. McKinney, an Effingham County High School graduate who ran for the District 12 seat two years ago, encouraged voters to do some research and find out about the candidates before casting their ballots.

Smith echoed those sentiments when he told the audience that it’s time to quit sitting and yelling at the television and to get involved with the political process.

Seaver, calling herself a soccer mom, said she understands the insurance business and thinks the Medicare cuts are unacceptable and that she will fight for seniors.

Former Effingham County Board of Education chairwoman Vera Jones, now candidate for the 2nd District county commission seat, chose the Tea Party as the venue to announce her candidacy.

“We all need tax relief,” she said. “We must attract business here and increase sales tax in order to reduce our property tax. That’s been talked about for years, but it’s got to start happening. There are a lot of things in place in our county that stop businesses from coming here, and we’ve got to change it and change it now.” She said, “It took a Carter to get a Reagan and it took Obama to get a Tea Party.”

Michael King, also running for the 2nd District seat, handed out copies of the Declaration of Independence and Constitution and said we should go back to the basics and operate local governments as the country’s founders laid out.

“Somebody’s got to do it, and I’m just tired of waiting,” said 5th District candidate Phil Kieffer. “I’m just here to try and make a difference.” 

Mose Mock, who is running for the 3rd District seat on the school board, said he is a conservative, fiscally, socially and morally.

“If Christian men and women don’t get involved in politics, we will not be able to take this country back,” he said, quoting former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee.

Event organizer Ken Baxley said he was extremely pleased with the turnout and estimated the audience at close to 150 people. He encouraged those interested to visit the Effingham Tea Party Facebook page to learn more and keep up with their schedule. The next scheduled event will be at the Rincon July 4 Parade.