With Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., having announced her retirement last week, people are casting about for a new unofficial leader of the tea party in Congress. Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Fowler, made the list of candidates of Salon’s political writer Alex Seitz-Wald, who summarized the Kansan’s tenure this way: “The social conservative lawmaker has made himself a villain of the LGBT community for saying he would oppose marriage equality even if his son came out as gay and for saying employment protections ‘reward homosexual behavior.’ He also hates ‘racist’ Planned Parenthood, comparing it to ‘pro-slavery forces.’ He was one of only nine lawmakers to vote against any form of the Violence Against Women Act. As for the GOP’s attempts to reach out to the ‘so-called Hispanic voter,’ that’s ‘very distracting and very discouraging,’ he has said. He might be more Rick Santorum than Michele Bachmann, but should get more attention.” Roll Call said Huelskamp demurred when asked whether he would seek to become the tea party’s standard-bearer in the House.
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