Iowa conservative kingmaker endorses Ted Cruz

Bob Vander Plaats, the CEO of the social conservative group the Family Leader, endorsed Ted Cruz's presidential candidacy. A "kingmaker" of sorts in Iowa, Vander Plaats endorsed Mike Huckabee in 2008 and backed Rick Santorum in 2012.

When the Washington Examiner spoke with Vander Plaats earlier this year, he said it would be easy for conservatives to divide their support among several quality candidates and he would wait until the Thanksgiving holiday to make a decision. On Thursday, Vander Plaats made clear he believes the best candidate is Cruz.

Cruz has racked up endorsements from several influential conservatives in the Hawkeye State, including Rep. Steve King and radio host Steve Deace. With Vander Plaats, King, and Deace lining up in his corner, the Texas senator has three influential ambassadors who will work to make more Iowan conservatives coalesce around his campaign.

As Cruz returned to Washington, D.C., and traveled to New York City for a fundraiser this week, his campaign received a string of endorsements. Direct mail pioneer Richard A. Viguerie and the National Organization for Marriage, a group that opposes gay marriage, both pledged their support for Cruz.

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