The Rockford Tea Party is well known for its conservative views and tonight a local democratic candidate jumped into their lion's den to face some difficult questions. It's the tea party's political dissection of two men on the November ballot.
"If you're that last vote are you going to vote just because it's a party vote or are you going to vote for yourself?"
"My decisions will be based upon the 16th district," responded George Gaulrapp, our local democratic candidate for congress who Tuesday night faced a barrage of questions from a group that stands against most democrat ideals. Despite the contention many were happy to have him.
"You're dealing with a whole room full of people who are not necessarily of like mind, and he had the guts and integrity to do that and I was very impressed by that," said tea party member Tracy Doyle.
"I'm interested in what all people think in this district. It's not just democrats, it's not republicans, it's not independents, conservatives, there's so many different things out there. I believe people have the right to voice their opinion and you should listen to them," said Gaulrapp.
Gaulrapp's Q and A followed on the heels of Lex Green, the libertarian candidate for governor. He too submitted to the Rockford tea party's political discussion.
"If you were governor and a bill landed on your desk approving concealed carry what would you do with it?"
"I would not only sign it I would make sure there was press there to see me sign it," said Green.
Both candidates played up their similar view points to the tea party.
Gaulrapp is for concealed carry, against full amnesty for illegal immigrants and wants to reduce spending.
Green made a point to discuss his commitment to the constitution and also being for concealed weapon laws
However with Gaulrapp differences still arose especially when it came to healthcare.
"Do I believe everyone should have healthcare? Yes I do." (arguing)
Gaulrapp may not be a tea party candidate but he did surprise some tea partyers with his stance.
Following the national controversy between the NAACP and the Tea Party, local Tea Party organizer David Hale said he had invited Norma Joseph, president of the Rockford NAACP chapter, to attend tonight's meeting. Hale said she had promised to come until yesterday when she backed out due to a schedule conflict.
Gaulrapp says he plans to visit more tea party chapters. Next on the list is Huntley.
(Chip Brewster is available via email AND facebook... feel free to shoot him a message or friend him at any time)