Iowa to Cruz: Don’t count your endorsements before you’re endorsed

October 28, 2015

Iowa can be a real stunner.

Bob Vander Plaats, head of the Iowa-based Family Leader, said on Wednesday he was “stunned” by a recent news report saying the presidential campaign of Republican Ted Cruz expected the conservative group  to endorse Cruz.

U.S. Republican presidential candidate Senator Ted Cruz applauds at the North Texas Presidential Forum in Plano, Texas October 18, 2015. REUTERS/Mike Stone

The report by Politico quoted an unnamed senior staffer for Cruz saying it would be a “stunner” if Vander Plaats and a prominent Iowa lawmaker did not back the U.S. senator from Texas.

“I’ve been fielding calls from media and from campaigns on these unfounded rumors the last two days,” Vander Plaats said in a statement.

Bob Vander Plaats, president of The Family Leader, speaks at the Family Leadership Summit in Ames, Iowa August 9, 2014. REUTERS/Brian Frank

He said neither he nor his group–which describes itself as “a Christ-centered organization that leads with humility and service to strengthen and protect the family”– would issue an endorsement before the Family Leader’s presidential candidate forum in November, “nor has any candidate yet secured a ‘favorite’ status.”

Iowa is among the first states to hold a contest next year in the process to choose the Republican nominee for the November 2016 election.

Cruz, who placed sixth in a recent Reuters/Ipsos poll of the Republican field, hopes to win over religious voters and social conservatives. Endorsements from influential state leaders could sway some caucus-goers.

Best not to count endorsements until they’re given, though.

“With so many capable candidates in the field, we are not even close to a unified choice for endorsement,” Vander Plaats said in the statement.


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