Jamie Radtke will challenge Democrat James Webb for his Virginia U.S. Senate seat in 2012. Radtke was the Chairwoman of the Virginia Federation of TEA Party Patriots. She may also face high-profile Republican George Allen. The recent lame-duck, deficit-building congressional legislation clinched her decision.
Radtke is 36 years old. She is credited with tightening the structure of the Richmond Tea Party after taking the presidency in 2009. She holds a master’s degree in pubic policy from the College of William and Mary and has a 10-year-history of Republican activism.
She says she’s never before seen the volume of ardent volunteers the tea party has attracted. To organize and unify them, the group holds monthly “Richmond Tea Party 101” orientation sessions. The official volunteer handbook lays out in clear language its five values: constitutional adherence, limited government, fiscal responsibility, free markets, and virtue and accountability.
In an interview, Ms. Radtke said she decided to run after watching Congress pass legislation during this month’s lame duck session, including a package of tax cuts, that added to the national debt.
“It has become clear that many in Congress still don’t get it,” she said. “The tax bill did nothing to cut the huge debt burden on all of us.”
Ms. Radtke gained some prominence in Virginia this year as the main organizer of a large tea party convention in Richmond, which drew nearly 3,000 participants.
Jamie Radtke has resigned her position as chairwoman of the Virginia TEA Party Patriots.