Tea Party senator unveils new PAC

Sen. Mike LeeMike LeeReid: Cruz, Lee on Supreme Court should 'scare you' Cruz: Boehner unleashed his ‘inner Trump’ Senate pressured to take up email privacy bill after overwhelming House vote MORE (R-Utah), a member of the Senate Tea Party Caucus, has established a new fundraising committee to support conservative candidates, and will not rule out challenging GOP incumbents.

Lee on Tuesday unveiled his new leadership political action committee (PAC), the Constitutional Conservatives Fund. It appears to be modeled on Sen. Jim DeMint’s (R-S.C.) Senate Conservatives Fund, which helped elect Tea Party-backed candidates to the Senate in 2010.

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“The purpose of it is to help find and support candidates for federal office who share my view that federal government has become too big and too expensive and believe in the need to restore what I refer to as constitutional-limited government,” Lee told The Hill.

DeMint used his leadership PAC for a similar purpose, helping elect Tea Party favorites including Sen. Rand PaulRand PaulGOP operative Ed Rollins joins pro-Trump super-PAC Overnight Energy: Clinton makes her pitch to coal country Rand Paul calls on Clinton to apologize for coal job losses MORE (R-Ky.) and Sen. Marco RubioMarco RubioCruz ends presidential campaign Jindal says he'd vote for Trump Carson releases Nevada delegates MORE (R-Fla.) over front-runners favored by the GOP establishment in Washington.

Lee has already endorsed two conservative candidates in GOP primaries for open Senate seats in Arizona and Texas: Rep. Jeff FlakeJeff FlakeMany Republicans uninterested in being Trump’s VP: report Senate confirms Obama's long-stalled ambassador to Mexico McCain fundraiser faces felony drug charges in Arizona MORE (Ariz.) and Texas solicitor general Ted CruzTed CruzFive takeaways from the Indiana primary Trump wins majority of Indiana delegates Wasserman Schultz: Tonight, Donald Trump is the Republican Party MORE.


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Lee, who defeated three-term incumbent Sen. Bob Bennett (R) at Utah’s Republican primary convention in 2010, is not ruling out backing conservatives who might challenge his Senate colleagues.  

“It would be hypocritical of me if I were to say never, ever under any circumstances would I try to support someone trying to come here the same way I came here,” Lee said.

He added, however, he does not have his mind set on supporting any particular challenger against a particular incumbent right now.