Local Tea Party advocates will gather in Downtown Abilene on Friday for the third-annual Taylor County Tea Party Rally.
The event begins at 4 p.m. with booths set up in the lobby of the Windsor Hotel. The presenters will begin speaking at 5:30 p.m.
Taylor County Tea Party co-founder Pat Hippely said she is expecting a big crowd for the rally.
“Last year, the crowd estimates were around 500 people, but it was raining and cold,” Hippely said. “The first year, the estimates were around 1,000. We’ve been getting the word out, so I am anticipating a good crowd.”
Hippely also is running for mayor of Abilene. She said the rally would convey a message in support of smaller government, starting small in cities like Abilene.
“Our group wants less government and less taxes,” Hippely said. “Many tea parties and grass roots groups are finding out representatives even in the city are doing the same thing they are doing in Washington. They are implementing mandates that circumvent our constitution.”
Hippely said Friday’s rally should garner particular interest among college students, since they are the future of America, she said, and America’s college students would be among those forced to suffer consequences for the decisions made today.
“We’re not doing this for us. We are doing this for my children, grandchildren and college students,” Hippely said. “We want them to have the same great nation we had that was built of Judeo-Christian and individual rights, not social justice issues.”
Nine individuals will speak at the rally, including Hippely and Glenn Addison, an ACU alumnus running for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Kay Bailey Hutchison in 2012. Addison graduated from ACU in 1983 with degrees in business and political science.
Addison said his speech on Friday would focus on America’s need for a wake-up call from the way politics currently works.
“I’m just fed up with politics as usual in this country, from both parties. I’m fed up with career folks promoting their own career,” Addison said. “I do not see politicians standing up with courage. I do not see them saying what we need to hear, which is that there are no easy solutions to our problems, and we must take some bitter medicine.”
Addison said he hoped to see many college students at the rally because modern issues should matter to college students. ACU students, especially, he said, might be intrigued by the rally’s message, as attendees of a historically conservative university.
Addison said he is running his campaign on a platform of term limits and smaller government. He hopes to reach voters next year with his common-man approach to politics.