FACTBOX-Key players in the U.S. Tea Party movement

Nov 2 (BestGrowthStock) – Here are some key names in the
conservative Tea Party movement that has helped position Republicans
to gain seats in the Democratic-led U.S. Congress in Tuesday’s
elections:

FORMER ALASKA GOVERNOR SARAH PALIN

Seen as the queen of the Tea Party, Palin played a big role
in turning previously obscure candidates — including one in
her home state of Alaska — into Republican Senate nominees. The
successes should give Palin, the 2008 Republican vice presidential
nominee, a boost for a possible 2012 White House run.

US SENATOR JIM DEMINT

One of the Senate’s most conservative members, DeMint hopes
to push the chamber to the right. His political action
committee, Senate Conservatives Fund, backs 11 Senate Republican
challengers. All but one of DeMint’s picks were ahead in the polls or
locked in close races going into their elections.

FORMER HOUSE REPUBLICAN LEADER DICK ARMEY

While there’s no national Tea Party leader, Armey is seen
by some as a de facto one. As chairman of the conservative
group FreedomWorks, he’s helped recruit and train activists and
coauthored the book “Give Us Liberty: A Tea Party Manifesto.”

FOX TV’S GLENN BECK

The conservative commentator also is seen as a de facto Tea Party
leader — or at least a key and very popular supporter. Beck hosted a
Washington rally in August that drew tens of thousands of people,
many of them Tea Partiers, in a show of conservative power.

NEW JERSEY GOVERNOR CHRIS CHRISTIE

The first-term governor, who has quickly made a national
reputation as a budget cutter, narrowly won a presidential straw poll
at a recent gathering of Tea Party activists in Virginia, topping
Palin. Christie ended up with 15 percent of 1,560 ballots cast, Palin
got 14.6 percent.

U.S. REPRESENTATIVE MICHELLE BACHMANN

Bachmann took the lead this year in creating the Tea Party
Congressional Caucus. She said she did it to “listen to the
concerns of the Tea Party,” not to be a mouthpiece for it. The caucus
now has 52 members among 178 House Republicans but the number of
caucus members may soar after the election.

NEVADA SENATE CANDIDATE SHARRON ANGLE

Angle is in a close race in Nevada with Senate Democratic
leader Harry Reid, a top Republican target. Polls show Reid,
the ultimate insider in an anti-Washington year, is seen
unfavorably by most voters. So is Angle, a former state
legislator.

KENTUCKY SENATE CANDIDATE RAND PAUL

Paul raced to a big lead over Democrat Jack Conway in the polls
but the contest to replace retiring Republican Jim Bunning tightened.
Paul has made several campaign gaffes — including casting doubt on
the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

ALASKA SENATE CANDIDATE JOE MILLER

With the help of Palin and the Tea Party, Miller, an attorney,
knocked off Senator Lisa Murkowski in the Republican primary.
Murkowski had been a member of Republican leadership.

FLORIDA SENATE CANDIDATE MARCO RUBIO

Rubio, a former speaker of the Florida House, held a double-digit
lead in the polls over Governor Charlie Crist, a former Republican
turned independent. Democratic Representative Kendrick Meeks was
running a distant third.

DELAWARE SENATE CANDIDATE CHRISTINE O’DONNELL

O’Donnell had the help of Palin and the Tea Party in upsetting
veteran Representative Mike Castle to win the Republican Senate
nomination from Delaware. She became a darling of conservatives but
trailed in the polls to Democrat Chris Coons.

COLORADO SENATE CANDIDATE KEN BUCK

Buck defeated a Republican establishment candidate in a bitter
primary and did not slow down in a tight general campaign against
Democratic incumbent Michael Bennet, who Buck sought to tie to the
White House.

UTAH SENATE CANDIDATE MIKE LEE

With Tea Party support, Lee, an attorney, is heavily
favored to win the Senate race in Utah to replace veteran
Republican Bob Bennett. Bennett was bounced in the state
convention in May, largely because of his support for federal
bailouts.

PENNSYLVANIA SENATE CANDIDATE PAT TOOMEY

Toomey served in the House for six years, stepping down in
2005 to honor a campaign pledge on term limits. He later headed
Club for Growth, a conservative fiscal group. Polls showed him
leading in a race to replace veteran Senator Arlen Specter, a
former Republican turned Democrat who was defeated in his new
party’s primary this year.
(Reporting by Thomas Ferraro in Washington; Additional
reporting by Nick Carey and John Whitesides; Editing by Philip
Barbara and Bill Trott)

FACTBOX-Key players in the U.S. Tea Party movement