Nevada County's Tea Party Patriots will have its first shift in leadership as co-founder Stan Meckler prepares to hand off his presidency to fellow Grass Valley resident Nancy Garcia.
Garcia is a retired owner of a furniture import business and current Tea Party Patriot board member. She will succeed Meckler effective January 2012.
"She's fabulous, she'll be a great leader and make some improvements that will make us bigger and stronger," Meckler said.
Garcia, who moved to Grass Valley three years ago from Hayward, said she never expected to be politically active. In fact, she said, she had grown tired of non-inclusive government bodies making decisions behind closed doors.
But then she heard about an open meeting the local Tea Party Patriots were holding and has been committed ever since.
Garcia will take the reigns from Meckler, father of national Tea Party figure Mark Meckler, who will remain on the board of directors of the local chapter.
After an initial anti-tax protest in 2009, Meckler worked with his son to build the local organization that helped launch a nationwide movement now boasting more than 20 million members.
"I think they are frustrated Americans, fed up with the politics of America," said Meckler of the close to 3,000 local Tea Party Patriot participants.
Meckler estimated those members are 60 percent Republicans, 20 percent Democrats and the rest are unaffiliated with political parties.
"Our principles rise above political candidates," Garcia said, "Candidates come and go, but principles don't change."
In what to expect from her tenure, Garcia pointed to the Tea Party Patriots' mission statement, which calls for fiscal responsibility, limited government, free markets, respect for the Constitution and Bill of Rights, and a government that respects and answers to the people.
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