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On Saturday, Sept 15 in Cincinnati, FreedomWorks held another FreePAC event featuring Glenn Beck as keynote speaker. These events are intended to train, activate and engage tea party activists in a targeted region. This time, the event centered around campaign and get out the vote training focused on US Senate Candidate Josh Mandel.
While these events are taking on an ever more regional focus, they nonetheless continue to attract attendees from all across the country. The 2012 election is vital not only to take back the White House, but also the Senate. The most urgent policy need as identified by FreeedomWorks is the repeal of Obamacare, and it will require a Republican majority in the Senate AND winning the White House, to go along with the conservative majority currently enjoyed in the House.
Thus, it is no surprise that the first two FreePAC events were held in areas where activists can have a direct impact in turning the Senate conservative. Just as Ted Cruz has electrified crowds all across Texas, Josh Mandel has emerged as a very strong candidate with a real chance to defeat incumbent Sherrod Brown, who just happens to be the most liberal senator in the nation.
And of course, Glenn Beck had something groundbreaking to announce as well - the release of The Blaze's Action Center, powered by Freedomconnector.
One of the highlights for me was when FreedomWorks Director of New Media, Kristina Ribali, asked for a show of hands from the crowd from those attendees who had never been to this type of rally before. I was shocked to see a few hundred hands go up.
That's right - the Tea Party movement is STILL GROWING.
I was able to talk to several activists and ask them what they thought of the event. If these quick interviews are any indication, and I think they are, then the Tea Party is alive and well and fully engaged in 2012.
First up is Nadine from Wisconsin:
Next, a political veteran from Ohio who's been working on campaigns since Goldwater:
And to top it all off, a mother and son team from Oregon who were so upset about missing FreePAC in Dallas that they swore they would not miss this opportunity:
Stay tuned for more information on FreePAC events in Arizona, Illinois and Florida.