By Love Transformed, by R.T. Kendall

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CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (Feb. 16) – Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum will headline the Chattanooga Tea Party’s Liberty Forum on Saturday, February 25. The forum, which celebrates the tea party movement’s third anniversary, will offer citizens a chance to listen to and question candidates and leaders in national, state and local government offices.

Santorum was one of several invited presidential candidates and first to accept.

The event will run from 1p.m. to 4p.m. and will be hosted at Abba’s House, at 5208 Hixson Pike in Hixson, TN.

“We already have more than 20 confirmed officials and candidates at every level of government. Senator Santorum’s decision is just icing on our anniversary cake,” said Chattanooga Tea Party President Mark West.

Santorum currently leads in several national polls of GOP candidates. The former U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania is well known for his commitment to traditional conservative and family values, and he helped author and pass key reforms, such as the landmark Welfare Reform Act.

In addition to Santorum, confirmed attendees include US Congressman Chuck Fleischmann and 3rd District challengers, Weston Wamp and Jean Howard Hill; State Senator Bo Watson, State Representatives Vince Dean and Richard Floyd, State Rep. candidate Mike Carter; County Mayor Jim Coppinger and County Commissioners Larry Henry, Tim Boyd, Joe Graham and Mitch McClure, challenger Marty Haynes; Sheriff Jim Hammond, County Trustee Bill Hullander; City Council members Carol Berz, Pam Ladd, Andrae McGary, Peter Murphy and Manny Rico; School Board members Mike Evatt, David Testerman and Rhonda Thurman; and U.S. Senatorial candidate Zack Poscevich.

Select speakers will address their vision for each of the different levels of government and there will be an opportunity for voters to interact with candidates and elected officials. The CTP will also offer refreshments to celebrate the tea party movement’s 3rd Anniversary.

“We launched our local group with a tax-day tea party event April 15, 2009,” West said. “Our event was one of 900 tea parties that day, a dramatic increase from the 50 tea parties on the first nationwide tea party event held six weeks earlier on February 27, 2009. Most of us who first met in early 2009 to prepare for that rally are still involved and contributing to our citizen activism. We’ve become close friends. And our focus has never wavered from demanding that federal, state and local governments adhere to their constitutional foundations, follow fiscal conservatism, and support free markets. We are pleased to be joining with and dozens of other Tea Party groups around the nation in celebrating our movement’s anniversary.”

Although there will be no cost to attend the event, donations will be welcomed to help defray costs.

The Chattanooga Tea Party is a non-partisan grassroots organization seeking to educate and inform its members and the public at large of the fundamental issues and struggles our country is facing. We are committed to energizing voters to become engaged in the process of solving the nation’s problems.


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