Tea Party group backs Byrne in general election

Published 5:38 pm Thursday, November 14, 2013

This month’s Congressional Republican primary runoff between Bradley Byrne and Dean Young was painted as a battle between traditional Republicans and the Tea Party.

When Byrne — a traditional conservative — beat Young last week, Young told reporters he did not plan to vote for Byrne in the general election in December.

But this week, a Tea Party group led by a Brewton resident said it would back Byrne in the election.

“The liberal media loves to stoke this narrative of establishment Republicans and Tea Party Republicans battling each other and give some hope to the Democrats in the 2014 elections,” Alabama Patriots founder Danny B. Joyner said. “Let’s clarify something for those  who do not understand the Tea Party and who they are and who they believe the RINOS are we are fighting. The reference to a runoff in a congressional race in south Alabama was between two conservative, Christian, constitutional men from different work and life experiences, but both and all the others who ran in the primary were Tea Party people. The liberals want to divide and conquer us but they will not succeed. We believe Bradley Byrne will represent us well in Washington and congratulate him in winning the Republican nomination.”

Byrne said he was pleased to receive the endorsement of the group.

“I’m honored to receive the support of the Alabama Patriots Tea Party group,” Byrne said. “It’s time to unite our party and come together towards victory on Dec. 17.”

Byrne will face Democrat Burton LeFlore in the Dec. 17 election to replace former U.S. Rep. Jo Bonner. Bonner stepped down this summer to take a job in the University of Alabama system.

Although the district heavily favors a Republican — the GOP has held the seat since 1965 — LeFlore told an al.com reporter this week that his campaign is gaining momentum.

According to al.com, there are some signs that have popped up along roads in Mobile that use the “Don’t Tread on Me” logo with the words “Boycott Byrne.”