GOP Tries to Upend NC Campaign Backed by Tea Party

Republican officials are working against the tea party in one North Carolina congressional race.

The Associated Press
Former House Majority Leader Dick Armey addresses a Tea Party rally at Freedom Plaza in Washington on Thursday.

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- The GOP is circulating documents from Tim D'Annunzio's messy divorce that depict him as a pot smoker who has called himself the messiah.

It's a risky move for state and national party leaders trying to harness the power of the tea party movement without letting it spin out of their control.

D'Annunzio, who has vowed to dismantle entire branches of the federal government if he's elected, has raised more money from individuals than his GOP rival.

In 1995 divorce records, his wife said that D'Annunzio claimed to be the Messiah and had traveled to New Jersey to raise his stepfather from the dead. A doctor's evaluation the following month said D'Annunzio used marijuana almost daily and had once been in drug treatment for heroin dependence.

D'Annunzio says his opponents are willing to "use any unscrupulous tactic" to avoid losing control of the Republican party.

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