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Tea party-backed candidate Christine O’Donnell upended nine-term Rep. Mike Castle in Delaware’s Republican Senate primary on Tuesday. Castle was the latest establishment-backed candidate to stumble as the grass-roots movement displayed its political strength. Tea partiers can claim success in some eight Republican Senate contests, a handful of GOP governors’ races and numerous House races. A snapshot of where the tea party movement made a mark in 2010:
UTAH: Sen. Bob Bennett lost his job at the state convention in May when tea party activists and other GOP voters rallied behind Mike Lee, now the favorite in November.
ALASKA: Lawyer and tea party favorite Joe Miller’s surprise GOP primary win has left Sen. Lisa Murkowski pondering a write-in candidacy.
COLORADO: Ken Buck, who played up his ties to the tea party, defeated former Lt. Gov. Jane Norton in the Republican primary.
NEVADA: Sharron Angle says “I am the tea party,” and endorsements from out-of-state groups including the Tea Party Express and Club for Growth helped her defeat former state Republican leader Sue Lowden in the June primary. She is looking to knock out Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
KENTUCKY: Rand Paul defeated Republican establishment favorite Trey Grayson in the May primary, a closely watched race that was viewed as an early test of tea party strength.
FLORIDA: Tea party favorite and former House Speaker Marco Rubio is in a three-way race with Democratic Rep. Kendrick Meek and Gov. Charlie Crist, who abandoned the GOP to run as an independent.
WISCONSIN: Businessman Ron Johnson, who had the state GOP’s backing, also courted tea party activists and won his primary easily.
DELAWARE: Marketing consultant Christine O’Donnell, who lost statewide in previous tries, stuns Rep. Mike Castle, a top GOP recruit, to win the primary.
SOUTH CAROLINA: Nikki Haley trailed for months before a tea party surge and Sarah Palin’s endorsement lifted her to the GOP nomination.
MAINE: Paul LePage courted tea party activists with a conservative fiscal agenda and won a commanding victory in the Republican primary.
COLORADO: Republicans have tried to get their nominee, tea party favorite Dan Maes, to quit the race after embarrassing missteps.
ALABAMA: Rep. Parker Griffith is dumped in the 5th Congressional District in favor of Madison County Commissioner Mo Brooks, who had tea party support in the GOP primary.
ARIZONA: Marine veteran Jesse Kelly, a tea party favorite, defeats state Sen. Jonathan Paton and two other Republicans in the 8th District.
COLORADO: Republican Scott Tipton is in a rematch with Democratic Rep. John Salazar in the rural 3rd District, where tea party rallies turn out large crowds.
MARYLAND: Businessman Charles Lollar, who has courted tea party votes in the 5th Congressional District, will face Democratic Rep. Steny Hoyer.
FLORIDA: Retired Army officer Allen West, who has sought tea party support, won the GOP nomination in South Florida’s 22nd District.
Copyright © 2010 The Associated Press