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With convention, tea parties plant flag atop GOP

Sunday - 5/12/2013, 1:41pm  ET

AP Political Writer

BOWLING GREEN, Va. (AP) -- Four years in the making, Virginia's far-flung tea party groups will officially plant their flag not only on the Republican Party but on its nominees for the state's highest offices as well.

Having won a majority of the seats on the state GOP's ruling central committee last June, they are the reason the Republicans are holding a convention in Richmond rather than a statewide primary.

The mission of that convention is nominating Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli for governor, but that became moot in November when Cuccinelli's lone GOP rival, Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, saw the futility of challenging Cuccinelli in a tea party-dominated convention and withdrew.

As Danville tea party activist Patricia Evans said, the only thing Virginia's often quarrelsome tea party groups have always agreed on is Ken Cuccinelli.

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