The mission of the First Coast Tea Party’s is to promote the principles of our Founding Fathers — individual liberty and responsibility, limited government, and moral leadership.
Our primary responsibility is to educate our membership about the issues that impact our mission.  We also encourage our members to activate their citizenship and educate themselves about the candidates who are running for office because they are the ones who will help us achieve our mission.
The First Coast Tea Party was formed in 2009 to protest the federal government's runaway debt, oppressive taxation, and attacks upon liberty that have so threatened this great nation.  To that end, we succeeded in changing the course of history by ousting incumbents who did not adhere to their Constitutional restraints and fiscal obligations, and we helped defeat candidates who displayed progressive, liberal, or socialist political philosophies. This resulted in the unseating of the Pelosi House of Representatives, the election of Marco Rubio to the Senate, and Rick Scott as the Governor of Florida.  We have only just begun to impact the political landscape of our nation. We believe that the Tea Party must play a major role in shaping the election of our next President, the Senate seat currently held by Bill Nelson, and several Congressional seats as well.
Locally, The First Coast Tea Party takes a strong interest in all elections to promote candidates to positions of authority who believe as we do in small government and  fiscal responsibility. We have followed the race for Mayor of Jacksonville with intense scrutiny and vetted the candidates through our process – A Search for Leaders with “Vision, Values and Valor”.  This process consisted of:

  • In-depth questionnaires
  • Personal video taped interviews
  • Internal and external research
  • Public forums
  • Straw votes
  • Membership polling
  • Leadership Council review

You can find the questionnaires, videos and straw votes on our member website at:
We applaud all who seek positions of public service and we are thankful that so many have done so during a critical time in Jacksonville's history.   We especially thank the Mayoral candidates who participated in our process – Mike Hogan and Rick Mullaney, (both Republicans) and Warren Lee, (Democrat).   One Republican, Audrey Moran, and one Democrat, Alvin Brown, chose not to participate in The First Coast Tea Party’s process. 
We believe that it is important that the voices of the people – sometimes referred to as the silent majority – are heard.  The Tea Party Movement has provided that opportunity, and we do not take this responsibility lightly.  Our Leadership Council has met and dissected the information that we have gathered from our search for leaders with Vision, Values and Valor, and we have arrived at the following conclusion.
On September 28, 2010, the Jacksonville City Council voted once again to raise our property taxes.  More than 200 people from the Tea Party Movement showed up to beg them not to raise our taxes.  They did not listen to us.  Instead, they voted to pass into law a huge tax burden for the citizens of Duval County.  At the conclusion of that vote, many council members were seen congratulating themselves with high fives, as the people of Duval County watched in stunned amazement. 
However, a handful of council members did not vote to raise the mileage rate which would have increased our property taxes. Instead, they did everything within their power to stop the passage of this oppressive piece of legislation, but in the end, they were defeated.  We stand with those who stood with us and the following candidates are receiving our endorsement:
Clay Yarborough – District 1
Bill Bishop – District 2
Richard Clark – District 3
Don Redman – District 4 – unopposed
E. Denise Lee – District 8 - unopposed
John Crescimbeni – At Large, District 2



Those who voted for the tax increase did NOT stand with us and they are NOT receiving our endorsement. They are..........
Michael Corrigan – running for Duval County Tax Collector                               Jack Webb – District 6
Johnny Gaffney – District 7 - unopposed
Warren Jones – District 9 – unopposed
R. Brown – District 10 - unopposed
Stephen Joost – At Large District 3 – unopposed
It is unfortunate that so many are running unopposed. 
There are many other great candidates running for office.  The First Coast Tea Party encourages every citizen of Jacksonville to review the research provided on our website to make a well-informed decision and find better representation from their opponents where possible. A new team from The First Coast Tea Party has accepted the challenge to hold the new city council accountable as we move forward.   We will introduce the new city council members to our team as soon as they are sworn in to office.   
Elitism has played a major role in politics – at the Federal, State and Local levels.  Our economy has crashed due to intended and unintended mismanagement and corruption and many citizens are aware of the stark realities that we must now face.  The voters are openly questioning the intentions and challenging the integrity of condescending elites, and they believe it is time for the people to reclaim the power that was established for them by our founding fathers.  Now is the time for us to embark on a new era of power, prestige, and productivity for all citizens rather than a handful of elected and appointed officials who see themselves as an entitled ruling class.
The men and women who run for public office are usually evaluated on their oratory skills rather than on the basis of their character and expertise.  We believe character counts and our membership based our endorsement of this candidate on the following:
  • His alignment with the values of the Tea Party Movement
  • His willingness and ability to deal with Pension issues
  • His experience in labor negotiations
  • His work experience in both the private and government sectors
  • His firm understanding of local politics – the good, the bad and the ugly
  • His willingness to seek the input of citizens on most issues
  • His transparency throughout every aspect of our vetting process including financial disclosure
  • His track record of personally answering every e-mail from his constituents
  • His humility. He has a servant’s heart
  • His promise not to raise taxes on all for the benefit of some
  • His record as a leader, making one of the city’s most active offices more efficient, effective, and responsive to the citizens that it serves.
  • His message has been consistent and principled.
  • His demeanor reflects the courage of his convictions
  • His family’s roots are deeply planted in Jacksonville, and his love and passion for our great city strongly resonates with him

Our endorsement for Mayor of Jacksonville goes to Mike Hogan and we encourage our membership and those outside the tea party movement to vote for Mike Hogan on March 22.
We now encourage our members to Get Out the Vote for Mike and all of the candidates that we have endorsed.  Find a candidate you want to work with on this list and support their campaign in any way that you can.  Volunteer; send them a donation ; put a sign in your yard; host an event for them in your home and tell your friends and neighbors to vote for these exceptional people.  You will find contact information on these candidates at
Finally, we understand that this announcement may trigger a wave of personal and political attacks. We stand by our candidates and we urge the voters not to be swayed by this vitriol, and remember that the truth has no agenda.
Hank Madden
Connie Turner
Billie Tucker
Carole McManus
Murray Goff
Lynne Holicky
 Michael Jackson
Morgan King
LeAnne King
Gayla Reed
Andy Sanfilippo
Randy Tucker
Patsy Underwood
John Daley
Debbie Gonzales
Lori LoSchiavo
Pat McBride

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Comment by Jim Davis on March 10, 2011 at 9:26am

The Jim Davis for City Council was proud to participate in your process, and was humbled to garner the highest score among the candidates running for the District 12 City Council seat.


As you know, this was the case with your organization, as well as that of the Concerned Tax Payers organization.


Jim Davis

Comment by Terry Kroemer on March 9, 2011 at 5:25pm
Personally I would like to see every position where there are 2 or more people running for office have a specific recommendation from the Tea Party.  After all, a tax collector this year may be running for Mayor another year....  In some cases, the recommendation might say that the person is the lesser of two evils, and in others you might say you strongly support the candidate.   By the way, does anyone know if you are tax collector now and mayor next year, does that get you 1 or 2 pensions from the city?
Comment by Bioya1 on March 5, 2011 at 8:36pm

My thanks for providing leadership in this area.


My sample ballot has At-LARGE candidates. I do not see anything on the website regarding these candidates (Groups 1, 4, 5). Is this by choice or am I missing something?


Thanks, Bob

Comment by JL Gawlik on March 5, 2011 at 2:12pm
We also found it interesting that many who supported John Peyton are supporting Rick Mullaney. We are leaning towards Hogan. Like someone posted earlier you can NOT please everyone. We need a mayor who listens and then deals with it, while cutting costs of our city government and not raising taxes. Goodness knows a lot of tax payers' money was wasted in the past sixteen years. Each penny counts.
Comment by JL Gawlik on March 5, 2011 at 2:06pm
We just receive a card in the mail from the NRA Political Victory Fund, they are endorsing Hogan, just thought i would add to the endorsements. Also, look closely at the contributions in the Times Union this morning. Keep in mind also the endorsement from the Police and Firefighters are from the Firefighters, and Police and not their union heads. We have a pension, benefit problem in Jacksonville that is going to grow if it is NOT dealt with and we really need to vote for a mayor, that will listen to the people and roll up his sleeves and work with cutting the budget, unnecessary spending and duplicity in government departments at federal, state and local levels.
Comment by Valerie Sawyer on March 4, 2011 at 12:21pm
The medical school would be a great addition to Jacksonville and would capitalize on our strong medical community. In issues like this, if we don't move forward, we will move backwards. Shands already lost the College of Emergency Medicine a few years ago.  We should have fought to keep that - and gain other medical disciplines as well - but we didn't. If we don't foster our medical community, it will start to go away to other places. A medical school is not that big of a leap for Jacksonville. Shands is tied to University of Florida's medical program, we have residency programs at Shands as well as St. Vincent's Medical Center. We have Mayo Clinic which not only treats patients but does medical research and development as well. Jacksonville University and University of North Florida both offer pre-med programs. So, a medical school here would be a great addition.  Many of those pre-med students we are losing to other cities and states would instead be able to stay here. Keep in mind that a vibrant medical community is a huge draw for businesses and families.
Comment by Charles D White on March 4, 2011 at 10:19am
I endorsed Rick Mullaney on air on Wednesday. I told my radio audience that I was never prouder to be a Tea Party member than I am now. God bless the leadership council for having the courage of their convictions to stand up and make their choices known. They have provided a forum and dialogue that is vital during thes turbulent times now to steal a famous line "lets get to work"
Comment by Michael on March 4, 2011 at 10:13am

Thank you Leadership Team for your hard work and dedication! Not to mention all of the time and effort you put into the Endorsement Process!

As it pertains to the mayoral endorsement (which seems to be the only discussion going on here):


I feel you endorsed the right guy!

Mike Hogan proved he could cut taxes and get Jacksonville back on track in his questionaire, in the interview and in the forum.  His ethics even soared above the other candidates when one stooped so low as to "sling mud" and try to distort the facts!  Mike stood high above the others and said, "I stand before you as an open book. I'm not ashamed of anything I've done." 


Let's look at the facts:
1. Mike has streamlined the Tax Collectors budget and reduced spending over 20% in the 8 years he has served.

2. Mike, working with Gov. Jeb Bush, cut Florida taxes over $700 million while in the state legislature
3. Mike, while at SouthernBell, worked to reform the pension system while handling labor relations

4. Mike in 2007, as a member of the Taxation & Budget Reform Commission, worked to pass legislation ensuring that government does not grow faster than your personal income (the current administration that Mullaney is a part of fought and ultimately defeated this measure)
5. Mike supports TABOR, commonly referred to the Taxpayers Bill of Rights
6. Mike has been endorsed by the Concerned Taxpayers of Duval County because of his record as a fiscal conservative

Where are the track records of ANY other candidate?  There are none...all they hold are empty promises and visions that, like the current administration, will ultimately cost each of us!

Again, thank you Leadership Team for your hard work for the First Coast Tea Party!

Comment by Gayla Reed on March 4, 2011 at 8:21am
After receiving many, many calls from members asking for the FCTP to "get in the game" and endorse a candidate for Mayor the leadership council and an elections team set in motion a program to find the candidate that most closely reflects the values of the FCTP. I can't begin to count the hours that volunteers spent on this task. I will not defend or debate the reasons we chose Mike Hogan as that has already been made public via this website, newspaper and television.

I will however defend Billie Tucker and the Leadership Council the FCTP. The decision to endorse Rick Scott and now Mike Hogan was not a decision that Billie made on her own. All decisions made at the FCTP are made by a TEAM of volunteers. It is no longer enough to just put information out there we must get active and work to put in office people who we believe will work for us. The endorsement was not made as a request for anyone to vote for a specific candidate. It was a statement telling you that after much contemplation and review of all of the compiled information, Mike Hogan stood out to US not just Billie as the best candidate for the job. We have always urged citizens to do their homework and cast their vote accordingly. The attacks on Billie and the FCTP made in this forum are mean spirited and certainly not deserved by any of us. I would ask those of you writing these nasty comments "how mug time have you spent in the trenches of this movement"?
Comment by ALLEN R. WILLIS on March 4, 2011 at 6:54am
Sorry to cause dissension among the group,but it does make you think and get involved. I believe the real problem lies with my opening statement "I know the mayoral candidates are a pretty poor group to choose from" Here we are again trying to pick the candidate we think will do the least damage. I would rather be supporting someone that I believe has the best interest of all citizens of Jacksonville not just there special interest. Is it time to start promoting and nominating people that owe no political machine?

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The First CoastTea Party is a non-profit organization. We have no deep-pocketed special interest funding our efforts.

You may contact us at:

First Coast Tea Party
1205 Salt Creek Island Dr
Ponte Vedra, FL 32082

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