Tea Party organizers in west Michigan are preparing to engage voters less than two weeks before the general election.
Jim Chiodo organizes the Holland Zeeland Tea Party Patriots. He says perception of the group has changed a lot since he joined more than a year and a half ago. "People were sort of afraid to be part of us, well I don't want to be one of those crazy tea party people!' but that is becoming less and less," Chiodo said.
Chiodo thinks many national candidates favored by the tea party have a real shot this election.
Though polls show republicans have more enthusiasm, Chiodo knows there are a lot of people who aren't thrilled with their candidates. They're hoping the tea party on wheels will engage voters. "There are people who are less than satisfied - they didn't get their candidate for governor and well maybe those people will think I'm going to stay home.' No way do we want anybody to stay home." Chiodo says that includes republicans and democrats.
He says hard-working middle class people in Michigan are fed up with the status quo in Lansing. Since the governor and most lawmakers will be newly elected, Chiodo says there's a rare opportunity this election to set a new course for the future.
The Tea Party Trolley will make 5 stops in Ottawa and Kent counties on Saturday.