A group calling itself the “TEA Party Express” conducted a rally in Hot Springs last week when it endorsed Tom Cotton, a Republican candidate for U.S. Representative for Arkansas’ 4th Congressional District. That group is not in any way affiliated with the Southeast Arkansas TEA Party, according to a Southeast Arkansas TEA Party news release.

“After the TEA Party Express rally, headlines appeared stating, “TEA PARTY ENDORSES TOM COTTON”, making it appear that all TEA Party groups had endorsed him,” Southeast Arkansas TEA Party member Linda Davis said in a news release. “We think that TEA Party Express was wrong to come into our state and leave the impression that their endorsement is our endorsement, and we object. The Southeast Arkansas TEA Party is not affiliated with the TEA Party Express or any other TEA Party group, either in Arkansas or nationally. Our group’s policy is not to endorse any candidate, but to encourage all voters to select and vote for the person they believe will best serve in the position.

“Tom Cotton, along with several other candidates running for the District 4 Congressional seat were guest speakers at recent meetings of the SE AR TEA Party, and all were well received,” Davis said. “However, we endorsed none of them. Therefore, we wish to make it clear that the recent endorsement of Tom Cotton by the TEA Party Express in no way reflects the actions of the Southeast Arkansas TEA Party.”