Yet another establishment Republican was defeated in yesterday's Florida primary election. It was Rep. Cliff Stearns' (R-FL3) turn to be toppled by the forces of the Tea Party, this time embodied by large animal veterinarian Ted Yoho.
As to the twin powers of incumbency and establishment-Republicanism, Stearns was a towering fortress to defeat having served in the House since 1988 and having started the race with more than $2 million in the bank. Like the clueless Jean Schmidt as she was being crushed by Lt. Col. Dr. Brad Wenstrup back in March, Stearns was haughty enough not to spend any of his bankroll, ending the race with approximately the same $2 million.
Still, Stearns was able to garner only 33% of the vote in the 4-candidate race. He was defeated by an 800-vote margin in a race in which Yoho spent only $300,000. Yoho was the only candidate in the primary field who had never held elected office.
So much for the pull of incumbents and moderate Republicans!