Rep. Joe Walsh, Tea Party leader, gets early 2012 boost from Club for Growth

SHARE Rep. Joe Walsh, Tea Party leader, gets early 2012 boost from Club for Growth

WASHINGTON–Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) who has emerged as a high-profile freshman fueled by his Tea Party politics, got an early boost Wednesday for his 2012 re-election bid—where he would likely face a GOP primary fight– from the conservative Club for Growth.

Club for Growth President Chris Chocola said in a statement, “Congressman Walsh has distinguished himself as a pro-growth leader.”

Walsh–who won in 2010 by about 300 votes– has made a name for himself in the ongoing raising the debt-ceiling debate by being a hardliner against any compromise with Democrats–or even other Republicans.

He’s gotten media attention in part because of his caustic criticism of President Obama, the latest at a Capitol Hill press conference on Tuesday. “This president has created a mess. And like a 10-year-old child, we’re late in the game and we’ve offered to help him clean up his mess. But like children often do, he’s stomped his feet and he’s pointed his fingers and he’s made threats. And that has not at all been helpful in cleaning up this mess.”

Walsh–and nine other Illinois GOP House members —on Wednesday filed a lawsuit against the Illinois State Board of Elections challenging the new congressional districts drawn by Illinois Democrats. Walsh’s current 8th district becomes more Democrat and his home was put in the new 14th district–currently the turf of freshman Rep. Randy Hultgren (R-Ill.).

The Club said it “will enthusiastically support” Walsh in “the new 14th Congressional District of Illinois” if it survives the court challenge.

Walsh has told me he is running for re-election. He has not said from what district, but running in the 14th would be a logical move.

If a court does not redraw lines, Walsh has a much better chance of winning in 2012 if he runs from the 14th rather than the 8th. Hultgren has left his flank exposed because he has only about $200,000 cash on hand in his campaign fund and Walsh has more than twice that amount. A primary fight with Hultgren will be cheaper than what is shaping up as a multi-million dollar contest in the new 8th district were he would face–assuming he got the GOP nomination–either Raja Krishnamoorti or Tammy Duckworth.

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