By Yaël Ossowski | Florida Watchdog

TAMPA — With the election season intensifying, candidates are looking to the mass collection of tea party groups statewide for support and endorsements.

In nearly all of Florida’s 67 counties, there are more than 100 tea party groups, among other concerned citizen groups, according to FloridaTeaParty.net, which bills itself as the “grassroots hub” of the state’s Tea Party movement.

“A lot of candidates come to us and ask for endorsements,” West Orlando Tea PartyPresident Ron McCoy told Florida Watchdog.

“The question we ask is: where have you guys been the last three years?”

Everett Wilkinson, chairman of the South Florida Tea Party, said the anti-incumbent sentiment that has taken root in Florida has allowed many more individuals to participate in the political process and choose more appropriate candidates typically shunned by party insiders.

Read more: Florida Watchdog