The room was full of northeast Ohio tea party members when Adam Brandon, Executive Director of FreedomWorks for America, announced the endorsement of Matt Lynch for U.S. Congress in Ohio’s 14th district.  Lynch will face-off against incumbent Republican Representative Dave Joyce in the May 6th primary.

State Rep. Matt Lynch

Matt Lynch

Supporters cheered and waved signs when the endorsement was announced making it clear that Matt Lynch has considerable grassroots backing which, if translated into a strong ground game, may mean the difference against his well-funded opponent.

Brandon pointed out that Lynch’s stance against Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion and his willingness to tackle public employee retirement reform and tax reform while serving in his current position as State Representative for the 76th district were important factors in FreedomWorks’ decision to endorse.

Lynch decided to enter the U.S. House race after an Ohio Republican Party field director’s wife chose to run for state rep in his district.  To many, this was a clear sign of the ORP targeting Lynch for his conservative positions, especially for his stance against Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion as he was one of six state reps who joined suit against Kasich’s questionable use of the Controlling Board to get expansion passed.

In Brandon’s introductory remarks, he described FreedomWorks goals for the coming election cycle:

  1. Protect and grow the U.S. House.
  2. Take back the U.S. Senate.
  3. Where possible, upgrade.

To tea party activists in the room, a successful Lynch candidacy must be seen as addressing goals one and three.  Brandon described Lynch’s opponent, U.S. Rep. Dave Joyce, as having a 50% score with FreedomWorks and Heritage Action and a 48% score with Club for Growth.  Brandon indicated Joyce supported debt ceiling hikes without offsetting spending cuts and voted against reigning in the NSA.

The 14th U.S. House race could take on national significance.  Brandon said,

“I do believe this is going to be one of those national races when everyone says is the grassroots tea party movement dead.  This is one of those opportunities for us to show- off that we are not, in fact, dead.”

Brandon summed up his comments as follows,

“But, this is your race.  Ultimately, this is your race.  This is your opportunity…If there is a victory, it’s going to be written that the big money came in and outspent you guys 10, 12 to 1, and you guys won, why?  You put up yard signs.  You went door to door.  Probably the most important thing you can do is talk to your neighbor…And getting on those phones.”

“This is going to show the power of that – citizens being involved vs. ‘K’ Street money.”

Video of the endorsement announcement can be found here.  Brandon’s comments start at the 16 minute mark.

FreedomWorks press release announcing the endorsement can be found here.