Tea Party has a mixed record in local elections in North Texas

SMU Political Science Professor Cal Jillson talks about the Tea Partys influence on Texas politics.

By Anna M. Tinsley

The Tea Party scorecard looked a little different a year ago.

At the time, Republicans locally and nationwide were being ushered into federal, state and local offices, courtesy of a tsunami of support from the Tea Party grassroots group frustrated by big government.

This month, in a much smaller election, it was a mixed record as Tea Party-related groups had a handful of successes in local races, but more than a dozen candidates with ties to the Tea Party lost their bids for public office.

"The Tea Party movement is waning as the economic recovery continues," said Cal Jillson, a political science professor at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. "I think they were at the height of their influence in 2010, and that's showing in the 2011 Texas Legislature. But it will wane as we move forward."

Those in the movement disagree.

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