Colgate had an oyster roast and rally Friday night at Chic’s on the Lynnhaven.  Traffic, unable to find a parking space was backed up at times almost ½ mile,  and between 5 p.m. and 5:30 p.m., more than 300 people were inside. 

The Hampton Roads Tea Party in an ego spat is breaking up.  Chesapeake has withdrawn and joined the Chesapeake Taxpayer Alliance and reportedly so are the Eastern Shore, Norfolk and Portsmouth chapters likewise abandoning the HRTP - leaving it with only the Virginia Beach members. 

A purported spokesperson for the Hampton Road Tea Party sent out an ‘Emergency’ email noting the destructive infighting:  

“We have come to a pivotal time (sic) here in Hampton Roads.The assault of the establishment (sic) is at an all-time high. Congressman Eric Cantor is working his hardest to attack conservative District Chairs, like Chris Stearns (3rd District Chair), Gary Byler (current 2nd District Chair) and new candidate Curtis Colgate (endorsed by Gary Byler for the 2nd District Chair).  They have paid staff and bloggers to post false statements against these fine men.

“They have even swooped (sic) so low as to drag (sic) our own HRTP Chairman Keith Freeman (sic) into slander. This is exactly what the Democrats do. That's why it is difficult to tell the difference from (sic) the D's and the R's. 

“Many of you may think that assisting our Republican allies is not Tea Party (sic) and that we are not true to our message. Aiding strong leadership is our message,” the emailer wrote. 

Al Shriner, former Tea Partier and an activist in the Chesapeake Taxpayer Alliance, answered the above email. In a brief response he said, “Waverly, In case you missed it, Keith Freeman was voted out as HRTP chair.  

“His "survival" as chairman was only due to his illegal stacking of the board and failure to recognize the legal board.  

“Everyone knows this and please stop referring to him as Chair - that's exactly how Democrats operate and I would expect you to be above that.  We need to be able to differentiate between the D's and the R’s.” 

The situation is dire.  Colgate is probably going to win the chairmanship, but whether he can reunite the GOP ‘knuckle-draggers’ is another question.  Why would anyone want such a job?