Eight-term Missouri Congressman Sam Graves on Monday endorsed Ted Cruz for president.
Said Graves of northwest Missouri: “I have personally seen Ted Cruz stand up and fight on the issues that matter the most to conservatives, even when it wasn’t popular in Congress. He has never wavered. He has always stood on principle. And he has always put the American people first.”
Graves’ long-time campaign consultant Jeff Roe is running Cruz’s campaign, so the endorsement is not a big surprise.
“As threats emerge – from ISIS, to Russia, to the Iranian nuclear program – we need a president with the resolve to defend our country and not back down,” Graves said. “We must secure our borders and restore the rule of law, and more than anyone running, Ted Cruz has fought to make this nation secure, while protecting our constitutional rights.”
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Graves’ backing marks the first congressional-level endorsement of Cruz in Missouri.
The endorsement comes on the same day that Cruz’s wife, Heidi, visited Missouri. She attended a noon rally in Blue Springs with state Sen. Will Kraus, a candidate for Missouri secretary of state.
She also was in Jefferson City where she filed papers for her husband to be on the 2016 Missouri primary ballot.
All the activity could signal that Cruz plans to make a major play in the state.
Cruz has been rising in recent national polls and in Iowa, the state that hosts the first major presidential test with its Feb. 1 caucuses.