Tea Party holds rally in downtown Richland - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Tea Party holds rally in downtown Richland

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RICHLAND, Wash. -- The 2012 elections are 14 months away and local discussion is heating up.

The Tri-Cities Tea Party held a rally at John Dam Plaza Saturday afternoon.

Several topics such as the national debt, 2012 primary, and the president's leadership were the big topics.

The rally was also an opportunity for political candidates running for office to meet tea party supporters.

"We like to try and get that message out to everybody that will listen. And contrary to what you're hearing in the news media, we are not terrorist. We are not racists, we are patriots, and we want to save America the way we've known it," explains Jerry Martin, president of the Tri-Cities TEA Party.

In addition to speeches and candidate meet and greets, a portion of the event honored lives lost during 9/11.