Saturday's TEA party tax-day event at the Alameda County Fairgrounds drew less than the hoped-for thousands of people that attended a similar event in 2010.
By 2 p.m., about 100 people had arrived to hear from a lengthy list of Conservative candidates listed on the bill.
Part of the low attendance can probably be traced to a similar event in San Francisco's Justin Herman Plaza in which 10 Northern California TEA party groups held a combined event. That event was apparently a low draw, too, with published reports ranging in estimates from 200 to 600 in attendance. An event in San Jose on Sunday also brought in less-than-hoped-for crowds.
At the Fairgrounds, the list of those scheduled to speak read like a Who's Who of East Bay Conservatives. Topping the list was Dan Hughes, who is challenging Democrat Dianne Feinstein for her Senate seat (she's also being challenged by Elizabeth Emken of Danville); Chris Pareja, who is running against Pete Stark (D-Fremont); Eric Swalwell, a Dublin city councilman, running for the 15th Congressional District; and John McDonald, who is challenging Jerry McNerney (D-Pleasanton) for the 9th Congressional District.
Also slated to speak was Democrat John Fitzgerald, who is running against fellow Democrat George Miller for the 11th Congressional District.
Al Phillips, a Livermore resident who is running against Joan Buchanan (D-San Ramon) for the 16th State Assembly District, was also on the roster, as was Mark Meuser, who is going up against State Sen. Mark DeSaulnier (D-Concord) for his 7th District seat.
Political affiliations may mean less in the upcoming elections than ever before in California; recent changes in election law put the top two vote-getters in the primary on the ballot.