It's an endorsement from a tea party group.
On his website Hill has posted this: "Due to vote against tax increases & stand for liberty the TEA Party Patriots announced their endorsement of my reelection @ ATL TEA Party."
The Atlanta rally came a week after Hill refused to join a Republican Senate caucus majority in voting for HB 307. The bill imposes a 1.45 percent provider fee on hospital beds to raise $216 million to close the state Medicaid budget gap.
After voting against the bill, Hill was summarily stripped of his chairmanship by Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and the Senate leadership which later added an amendment to remove the 2.5 percent state tax on insurance premiums and labeled the measure "a tax cut."
Although the MDJ was unsuccessful in contacting Hill afterward, he had an interview last week with WVGA Radio in Valdosta.
"I'd rather be a conservative than chairman," he told the talk show host. Hill said he believed his vote against HB 307 represented the people of his district. He also said legislators should "dig down deep to the core services of government" to find "additional savings" instead of increasing taxes and fees.
In an interview with the same radio station, Lt. Gov. Cagle, the Senate president, was asked why Hill was stripped of his chairmanship. Cagle replied: "He chose to violate the rule. He knew what the consequences were." The rule requires all caucus members to vote for a bill when two-thirds of the members do so.
"It's a team sport," Cagle said. "The senator chose to violate a caucus rule." He added, "There is no wriggle room in this."
Hill did not speak out in the Senate about his losing the chairman's post, but Sen. Preston Smith of Rome, who lost the Judiciary Committee chairmanship, castigated Cagle, president pro tem Tommie Williams of Lyons and majority leader Chip Rogers of Woodstock in a 20-minute barrage from the well of the Senate.
Describing how his fellow Republicans left the caucus meeting to do the bidding of their leaders, Smith said: "Like a scene from 'Lord of the Flies,' the group marched back in to the Senate to follow the order."
Judson Hill in the GOP primary faces challenger Lynda Coker, chief deputy sheriff of Cobb and former state representative. Hill's vote against HB 307 and his endorsement by the tea party gives him good talking points at a time when anti-tax sentiment is running strong here and across the country.
As tea party members gathered in Marietta before joining the thousands in front of the Georgia Capitol on Tax Day, one of the placards that stood out in the crowd put all candidates on notice:
"November is Coming."