Estimated read time: Less than a minute
This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A prominent Iowa evangelical leader has endorsed Ted Cruz for president, a coup for the Texas senator, who has heavily courted churches and pastors in an effort to win the state's leadoff Republican caucuses.
Bob Vander Plaats (PLAHTZ) announced his endorsement today Des Moines, calling Cruz a "serious leader for serious times."
Vander Plaats stressed that this was a personal endorsement, not one on behalf of the Family Leader, the influential Christian conservative group he leads. The group's board has decided not to back a 2016 candidate formally, though several others affiliated with the organization joined Vander Plaats in endorsing Cruz.
Cruz said in a statement that the endorsement is "more evidence that our campaign has momentum and is gaining ground heading into the final weeks of the caucus."
Christian conservative voters traditionally wield significant influence in the Iowa caucuses because they tend to be organized and motivated to participate.
Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.