Staten Island’s Michael Grimm and Nan Hayworth of the Hudson Valley were both propelled into office this year–and fended off primary challengers–behind the strength of local Tea Party groups.
But now that they are in the House of Representatives, both freshman Republicans have joined the Republican Main Street Partnership, a group of moderates “dedicated to promoting and building a pragmatic, thoughtful, fiscally conservative, and inclusive ‘Governing Majority,'” according to their website, which, by the way, features Maine Senator Susan Collins, the very ideal of centrism in the Senate.
The Main Street Partnership PAC is led by former Rep. Tom Davis, and he tells Roll Call that despite the Tea Party fervor sweeping the land, the caucus has more members than ever before.
Neither Hayworth nor Grimm are members of the House’s new Tea Party caucus, and their joining up with moderates in Congress shows the difficult path that Tea Partiers from swing districts have to tread. Tea Party groups were very popular in both of those areas, and members of Congress who were backed by the groups will need their grassroots energy going forward. But both Hayworth’s NY-19 and Grimm NY-13 are quintessential swing districts, and both freshman will need to appeal to moderates and independents in future elections.
David Webb, the New York-based leader of a national Tea Party group, seemed unconcerned.
“These guys get in there and they join the different caucuses,” he said. “They need to be careful about their performance, because that is what people are actually watching.”